Getting Ready for Easter
Kelli, at Awesome God/Ordinary Girl, asked pertinent questions in her post about Lent. She wondered how others prepare for the great day we celebrate as Christians. Some call it Easter; others call it Resurrection Sunday.
I grew up in a church that participated in Lent and Advent, precursors to the big feast days of Easter and Christmas and it was most definitely a time of preparation. I enjoyed the teachings and the music and I enjoyed the creative ways we found to prepare our Lenten meals because we all “gave up” certain foods. Sometimes we extended ourselves beyond our comfort zone and chose acts of service so we could think less of ourselves and more of God. I’m grateful for a family that believed in Jesus and taught me that He died on the cross and rose from the grave so that my sins can be forgiven. I’m grateful for the renewal programs in that church, namely Marriage Encounter and Life in the Spirit, in which my husband and I participated. It led us to a vibrant faith in Jesus with an unquenchable thirst for His Word and the spirit of God. Although no longer in that denomination, we still look at this holy season with great reverence.
We raised our daughters in very different traditions. With our zeal to study and search deeper for more understanding, we stumbled upon Old Testament feasts. This year on April 9th, the day before Good Friday, we will celebrate Passover. This will be our 25th year of celebrating this great holiday. Our children went from whining because of the foods that they had to eat at our seder meal to entering their adult years and telling us that no matter where they are in the world, they want to come home for Passover. 1988 was the first time my husband took me to Jerusalem, Israel. He loves Israel and the Jewish people. We celebrated the Jewish holiday which they refer to as Pesach with a Seder at the highly orthodox Windmill Hotel complete with a singing rabbi and shabbot elevators. I will never forget it.
At this time of year, I’m spring cleaning. In my home, I’m paying particular attention to polishing the silver and bringing out the best china and planning a menu for our Passover Seder meal and I’m usually enjoying Messianic music in the background while I do it. There is rich symbolism in the food, the rituals and the prayers and I’ll have to save that explanation for a different post and another time. What makes us different from the Jewish Passover, of course, is Jesus, the center of our celebration. Simply put, we believe God delivered His people from Pharaoh and parted the Red Sea as does our Jewish friends. In taking it a step further, we believe and focus on Jesus our Messiah, our great deliverer and savior. It is Jesus who loosed the bonds of wickedness, undoes heavy burdens, sets the oppressed free and heals us. Jesus is our reflection at Passover, Easter and all year through!
However you celebrate this time of year, I wish you peace. Or shall I say Shalom! Don't forget to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Be sure to visit Spiritual Sundays where Charlotte and Ginger offer inspiration to you on this first day of the week.