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Prepare Your Heart for Easter


Lent is the period of 40 weekdays before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, and Sundays are not counted. Lent is a period of preparation before Easter and represents a teachable moment for families. I encourage you to use Lent as an opportunity for you and your family for a closer walk with Jesus. Below are some steps to consider on your Lenten journey.

REFLECT WITH YOUR FAMILY
By observing Lent at home, we can help ourselves and our families grow spiritually. Remember, our primary church is our home. We need to prepare our hearts to experience the joy of the resurrection. This begins by gently explaining the hard reality that our sin is what separates us from Jesus. Lent is a time to invite the Holy Spirit to search us and help us clean sin out of our hearts and replace the void with His love and grace.There are several devotionals available to help families make Lent a meaningful time of growth and reflection. Speak to your pastor about appropriate devotionals for you and your family.

Lent is a great time to start daily prayer and Scripture reading with your family. Lent is also a great time to begin the habit of Christian service and reach out to others with our gifts of presence, prayers, and witness.

UNDERSTAND TRUE SACRIFICE
Lent often involves sacrifice. Many people choose to abstain from a favorite item or activity during Lent. The purpose of this is, in a very symbolic and in a very microscopic manner, to allow us to identify with what Jesus sacrificed for us. When our children are deciding what to fast from, it is important to remind them that a true sacrifice must “cost” us something. This may be giving up video games or candy.

READ SCRIPTURE TOGETHER
Lent is a great time for the family to carve out time each evening to read and discuss Scripture. The Gospels are a great place to learn about the life of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus gives us hope and life on this earth and beyond. John 14:2-3 captures this hope: 

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where 
I am.”

Christ separated Himself from previous prophets by His victory over death. The glory of the empty tomb is beautifully captured in Luke 24:5-6 by the words of the angels to the women when they went to His tomb the next day after the crucifixion. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised.” Christ’s death is not the source of our hope. His victory over death is the source of all hope. It is the source of life-everlasting and the forgiveness of sins. Use Lent wisely to prepare your hearts for the blessings of Easter and live each day as Easter people.

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25 Mar 2022


By Todd F. Shupe, Ph.D.

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