March 8, 2012

Preparing for Easter

Don't panic! Easter isn't until April 8th! You have an entire month left to buy all those new outfits, get all the candy bought, and Easter eggs dyed. Easter is a wonderful time of year - one of my favorites, and our family does each and every one of the things I just mentioned, but last year, I was convicted about how I prepare myself and my family for Easter. It is a celebration of the greatest event in Christianity - the resurrection of our Savior! And yet, most of us spend more time choosing an outfit and buying candy and getting Easter baskets and eggs ready than we do preparing our hearts for the most wonderful day of worship we have!

I began to do more heart preparation for me and my family last year, but this year, I wasn't caught off guard, and our family has already begun focusing on the wonder of Easter! After all, we put up our Christmas tree light and have an advent calendar and focus on Jesus' birth for an entire month! Why not do the same for His death and resurrection?

This year, we have begun by focusing on short Bible stories from the Old Testament that paint a picture of sin and its consequences. We are also focusing on the lamb sacrifices made and on seeing how God had our salvation planned all along the path of human history! Some of the stories we have read or will read are Adam and Eve, Abraham's obedience in being willing to offer Isaac, and the Passover. We will also read of the major events in Jesus' life on earth beginning with His birth and culminating with his death on Good Friday. Our family is memorizing Isaiah 53:1-7 together, and we are hoping to be able to say it completely from memory by Good Friday. Resurrection Morning will be such much more real and exciting to our children if they understand all that had to take place before we could be able to celebrate! As we study these stories and memorize the Scripture passage, we are trying to find ways to show our children how sinful we are. The only way we will really appreciate salvation is if we realize how undeserving we are of it. We are also trying to show our children how good and merciful God is and how great the sacrifice was that He made for us.

We plan on taking the last week of Jesus' life and studying it in detail the week before Easter. I will be sharing more of those ideas as we finish planning them out. We want our children to never take their salvation for granted but to always be mindful of the great sacrifice God made to save such sinful people! The Mr. and I are also specifically praying for our oldest son this month that God would continue to work in his heart and that maybe this would be his time for salvation. We would love it if you would join us in praying as well as the Lord brings him to your mind.

I encourage to take some time this week to ask yourself how you and your family can prepare for Easter. I'd love to hear any ideas that you have or ones that you already implement in your family. And, as I said earlier, I will try to share more as Easter draws closer. For now, our family has enjoyed the time of Bible story and study, and it has opened the door for many wonderful discussions. I pray that Easter will mean so much more than just a new outfit and an Easter basket. The sacrifice was way too great to trivialize it in that way.

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