Without Easter, the Christian faith is a waste of time.
That’s what the apostle Paul basically said in that verse above. Resurrection not only gives us hope for eternal life, but it also confirms that what Jesus said in his earthly life was true. Jesus said he would rise from the dead. If he hadn’t, who would have taken his teachings seriously thereafter?
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,” Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 20. The resurrection was God’s stamp of authenticity on Jesus, proclaiming, “Yes, Jesus is my Son. Yes, he has overcome death. Yes, what he told you is the truth. Trust in what he says! Follow him!”
During Lent we prepare our hearts through acts of self-denial, “giving up something,” because it helps us examine our commitment to Christ and meditate on the suffering and death of our Lord.
Acts of self-denial are appropriate when the sacrifice connects with Christian commitment. But there is another view of Lent: a time to prepare to celebrate the Resurrection. When we prepare to celebrate something, we often do housekeeping chores. If we are going to have a party at our house, we first spend time cleaning the house. We prepare refreshments. We may even decorate. When the guests arrive, we celebrate. Preparing is never quite as much fun as celebrating, but it takes the preparation to make the celebration possible and worthwhile.
Lent is our time of preparing, spiritual housecleaning – a time to dust off our faith, shine up our commitment, and decorate our lives with the joy of Christian life. Then, when Easter comes, we know in our hearts what the celebration is all about.
At Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church, there will be some opportunities for spiritual housecleaning and celebrating. Hopefully you will plan to include one of these opportunities, or better yet - all of them, in your holy season.
Palm Sunday Service – Palm Parade and Easter Egg Hunt
Holy Week Reflection – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Sunrise Easter Service – 6:01 a.m. followed by Easter Brunch
Easter Service – 10 a.m. Choir Cantata “The Easter Story”