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As I sat in church on Palm Sunday, I smiled at the little children who paraded down the aisles singing and waving palm branches.
Like most people I know, I enjoyed celebrating Easter. But I had been considering it a distant second to Christmas. As I sat there, it bothered me that I enjoyed celebrating Jesus’ birth much more than His death and resurrection.
At Christmas, there are presents and fun traditions, and it’s all about God sending the gift of His Son. But Easter — that’s about my sin and guilt, angry mobs, a brutal crucifixion, and then an empty tomb.
If not for Christ’s willing death, I would still be dead in my sins. If not for His resurrection, I’d have no hope of eternal life.
This is worth meditating on, even for as long as 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. By that final Sunday, I want to be singing, “Christ Our Lord Is Risen Today” with overflowing joy.
This is the very reason for observing Lent — to come before the Lord and prepare our hearts for renewal. It’s a way of identifying with Christ, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him, according to Hebrews 12:2.
I want to focus on Jesus’ passion during the time prior to Resurrection Day. Then, when my mouth proclaims, “Alleluia, He is risen!” my heart will respond, “He is risen indeed!”
As you observe the Lenten season, consider these ideas to help you grow deeper in your love for and identification with Christ.
Perhaps this Halloween is the perfect opportunity to respond selflessly in love and care for our neighbors, as well as a way to fight our tendency to isolate.
This Valentine’s Day may you experience God’s love in a deeper way by being reminded of 14 things about His love.
#LOVEDENOUGH: Coming to terms with the “ought-not-to-be-ness” around & inside us.
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