Celebrating Lent: What Does It Mean to Prepare for Easter?
In just over two weeks, we will begin to celebrate Holy Week. I’m already blocking out the time for family parties, extra church services, buying cards and hiding eggs. I’m even thinking about some special ministry events following Easter weekend that I will be involved in this year, and planning those to make sure they go off without a hitch. I felt like those preparations were well underway and I was close to ready for the season. Then I realized that I’ve forgotten all about Lent.
Lent. It’s the forty or so days leading up to Easter. Forty days, the same number Jesus used to fast before he began his earthly ministry, that we use to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s work on the cross.
Many fast from something as they prepare. It might be meat, it could be candy, perhaps it’s Facebook. People use this season to re-orient themselves in numerous ways, but none more important than this:
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”
– (Taken from Psalm 51)
This Easter, I don’t want to be ready (mainly) for expertly shuttling from service to service or perfectly balancing the family parties against the time needed for deadlines at work. I really need a steadfast heart, and I want to find myself at Easter with a renewed joy in the salvation that my Lord provides. My real preparation is to slow down. To remember who and what sustains me, this season and every other. To reflect on my sin, my Lord’s grace, and the power of his cross. Those are the preparations that really matter. I know I’m not off to a perfect start, but there’s still time. Thank God.
Maybe you’re like me and you’re sure where to begin. Check out some of our Lenten resources and get started today!