Tomorrow begins the season of Lent. It’s the 40 days before Easter, excluding Sundays, that many Christians partake in as a remembrance of the forty-day fast that Jesus took in the wilderness.
It’s a time of self-examination, as the Lord allows us to be “transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” in Christ’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18a).
Lent is Important!
Let’s be honest here. More often than not, I skim past Lent and look right toward Easter. And truth be told, with the busyness of life, that sacred and celebrated day often sneaks up on me. Many years, I haven’t spiritually prepared myself for the importance of this day.
Unlike Christmas, where we decorate the house from floor to ceiling, Easter isn’t much of a secular holiday. Sure there are bunnies and chocolate, and those sinful Cadbury Eggs, but many people go about this day as they would any normal Sunday.
With the Holy Spirit convicting me, I made a change last year. I always prepared my heart for Christmas, and I knew I needed to prepare my heart for Easter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Easter
- Pray – Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, purposefully schedule a time to pray and open your heart, mind, and soul and reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for you. Because of that great sacrifice, you have eternal life with Him and the Heavenly Father. Jesus, Himself, made time for prayer. (Mark 1:35)
- Read and Mediated on Scripture – All four of the Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) write about Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. Imagine yourself in that time and culture. What would you think? How would you feel? Reading about our Savior’s beating and death is not a very easy read, but it’s necessary to see the magnitude of the great love that our Father and our Savior has for us. (Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24 and John 18-21)
- Listen to Praise and Worship Songs – You can create a song list on Spotify with songs that will help you worship Jesus during the 40 days of Lent. With songs like “In Christ Alone,” “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone),” “We Believe,” and “Jesus Paid It All,” we can remember the great, unconditional love the Father has for us. We can remember that our sins are nailed up on that cross with Jesus. We can remember three simple but powerful words, “Him for me.”
- Fast or Abstain – While it’s commonly associated with the Catholic faith, those of Protestant faith can also partake in this. In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, after Jesus’s baptism by John, Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and nights, where He fasted. When that time was up, the devil made an appearance, thinking he could tempt Jesus. The devil’s schemes could not hold up to the TRUTH – the Word of God. Fasting could be a half or full-day. You could abstain from your favorite food or take a break from social media. The main point of fasting or abstaining is to replace fleshly desires and focus on the Lord and His Word. (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13)
- Attend a Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday Service – Many churches are now incorporating a Maundy Thursday service on the Thursday of Holy Week. Maundy derived from the Latin word for “commandment.” It was in the Upper Room during the Last Supper, where Jesus gave the commandment to “love one another.” Maundy services may include dinner and washing of the feet. (John 15:12-13) Good Friday services are somber, dark, and quiet. It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifice and death of our Savior. Easter Sunday services are a time for rejoicing and celebrating! Our Savior is risen and is alive! I encourage you to invite someone to church and have them experience the joy of the unconditional love that the Father gives us.
As we prepare our hearts for Easter, may we never forget the great sacrifice that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did for us – you can simply remember it as “Him for me.” His life for ours so we can have eternal life with the Father. That is something that we cannot, nor should we ever forget!