give us what we want. He gives us what we need.” - When he sees fit, how he sees fit, and it is always more of a blessing than we could ever imagine! But in between focusing on the message and being annoyed by the young couple groping each other beside me (Seriously? In church?) I was thinking about how much I was dreading going to back to school -- back to my students and my classroom. The only thing that was brightening that dark cloud of an ending spring break was the fact that it was a four day week! Friday was Good Friday, and I wouldn’t have to be at school. I could sleep in! I could get things done! But then, my mind would focus, and it happened to stop on the topic of Good Friday, and then I would slowly shift back to the message.
As the body of Christ, we were, and should be, excitedly preparing our hearts for Easter, and doing such allows me to feel my joy springs flow (my heart is bursting) with my love for the Easter holiday.
In my mind, Easter is not one of the “major” holidays. I think people tend to focus on Christmas, whether their minds automatically go to gifts, family, or celebrating the birth of our Savior, or to Thanksgiving: turkey, football, naps, and pie! I think for most, Easter is overlooked. But for me, when the topic comes up, there are favorite aspects of the holiday that I hold in my heart and mind with a very romanticized view.
I would love to share my favorite Easter memories and happenings with you, now!
- My first favorite might sound a little gruesome to you but, I love to picture, remember, and read about the events leading up to His journey to the cross, and the torture that Jesus had to endure the day of his crucifixion. (A terrifyingly, good and emotional depiction of this can be seen in the movie Passion of the Christ.) I have seen this movie twice, and both times I was an emotional train-wreck through the entire thing. In no way am I saying you should watch this movie. My mother is a beautifully strong Christian woman but will not watch it because she doesn’t think she could handle it. I am however saying, that for me, seeing that interpretation helps me to better understand Jesus’ love for me. He endured the torture, the beatings, lashings, being spat on, being called names and being mocked, having a crown of thorns pushed into his head, amongst many other tortuous events… All for me… and YOU! He took the sin and burdens of humanity on His shoulders and carried them to the cross; all the way to His last breath; all so you and I - if we believe He is our Saviour - would never have to endure that kind of suffering. THAT IS THE MOST INTENSE KIND OF LOVE I COULD EVER IMAGINE!
- My next favorite part of the Easter holiday is how it makes me feel! Whether you are a new believer, someone on the fence of the whole “Following Christ” thing, have been a believer for years and years, or wherever you may be in your walk with Christ, I feel that Easter is the perfect time to begin, refresh, renew, amplify, or focus on your relationship with God! There are times for you throughout the weeks and days, leading up to Easter, to fellowship, ready your heart and mind, and really put an emphasis on thanking God for the sacrifice of His son, and thanking Jesus for all that He endured so that we could be blameless. If you are someone who spends time in the word daily, your heart might already be there, but if you are someone who needs more structure, or more purposeful time spent with God, I think Easter offers everyone access…or a least maybe gives you more of a reason to spend time with God. And like I was saying, I love how my time spent meditating on ALL that Easter is and means makes me feel. I feel open, loved, focused, hopeful, blessed, and so thankful!
- Finally, I love, love, love all of the music associated with Easter time. In fact, I think we should be rejoicing with these lyrics year-round! There are older hymns and new praise songs that really touch my heart. At church, or even when I attended chapel in college, the music was always a huge part of my worship process. Praise music, in general, readies my heart for the message, opens me up so I am ready for God to enter, and that is when I feel closest to God! I can remember growing up in a little, white Nazarene church and we would sing, “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes!” We would also sing, “Chris the Lord is risen today, hallelujah!” Also, the Matt Maher song, “Christ is Risen,” really speaks to me around this time of year! I believe there is a song that rejoices in Jesus’ resurrection that can reach everyone!
Of course, there are many other aspects of the Easter holiday, that I love! I am so happy to spend that time with my church family, my parents and siblings, and for the second year now, with my fiance and his family! But those were the three favorites that I felt called to share with you, and I am so happy that I got to do that! (If you have made it this far through the post!) I hope that this time of year and season of your life are blessed!
As the musical Godspell says, “Prepare Ye, the way of The Lord!