It is hard to imagine but Easter is here! If you want to get the most out of Easter this year here are a few suggestions for how you can start preparing for our gathering this Sunday
Create that much needed space in your life between now and Easter. Let these next few days be a reminder that nothing is more important than a relationship with your Creator. Leave room for God, for family, for prayer, for silence. Intentionally create some space to start preparing yourself for that important time of corporate worship.
What should we focus on this week? Part of the story of Easter is the story of the suffering and death of Christ. I believe its the hardest part to face, so it will require your focused attention. As you focus on the suffering of Christ it is inevitable that you will recall the pain and suffering in your own life. This often creates a barrier for the worshiper. The greatest joy in Christ becomes a distant memory. As you focus this Easter season remember that your God not only suffered for you but he suffers with you!
Charles Spurgeon had these great words to share concerning our suffering with Christ.
It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is the skilful singer who can sing when there is not a ray of light by which to read,— who sings from his heart, and not from a book that he can see, because he has no means of reading, save from that inward book of his own living spirit, whence notes of gratitude pour forth in songs of praise
Over the next few days commit yourself to times of great focus!
I want to encourage you to take time to read the prophets. Great sections of scripture like Amos 5, Micah 6, Hosea 6, and Isaiah 53. Hear the words of justice and mercy and salvation. Hear powerful voices that proclaim a future that is better than anything we could ever imagine. Make it your practice to read the words of Jesus. Read the parables in Luke and the teachings of Christ in John. Listen to the words of the greatest sermon ever preached from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.
Hear in the words of the prophets a vision that challenges the current order of things. Hear in the words of Jesus a radical and revolutionary message that consistently calls us to side with the weak and the forgotten over the powerful and the well-connected. Marvel at the courage to speak so boldly, and take note at the beauty and simplicity of His message.
Pray for forgiveness. Pray for God’s mercy. Pray for justice and righteousness. Pray for courage. Pray for a new vision that allows you to see our world as God sees it. Pray for the coming of God’s kingdom. Just pray. I look forward to spending time together as we worship Jesus on Easter Sunday!
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) also contribute to the New Life blog.