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How to Prepare for Easter

Scripture: Luke 19:28-44, Matthew 21:1-11

We all prepare for things
in our own ways.

For example,
Gary Manka exercises 6 days a week
for about ninety minutes.
His routine starts with prayer,
followed by a lengthy set of stretching exercises. He says sometimes it feels like it takes longer to prepare for exercise than to actually exercise.

Jon Montani,
when he prepares to fly a plane,
performs a series of different checks
and rechecks
and overchecks and underchecks
and Rice Chex and Corn Chex.

Lynette Holzworth,
well, let me just say you better not talk to her
in the morning
until sometime AFTER her second cup of coffee.
That helps her prepare for her day.

We all have different ways we prepare for different things.

But this morning,
I want to talk about how to prepare for Easter.

Now, maybe you havenít given that much thought.
After all, we all lead busy lives.
Alexa Holzworth has a demanding cheerleading schedule.
Phil Schreiber has nearly an hour commute each way to work in Milford.
Lois Jarvi has to raise three rambunctious boys while her husband Rich watches Oprah.

But still,
weíve got nowhere to go for the next half hour,
so we might as well give a little thought
to the coming week,
and ask a question few people--
even devoted Christ-followers--
ask these days:
How should I prepare for Easter?

I mean, for crying out loud,
we do a good job of preparing for Christmas.

There are signs everywhere that something special is going to happen.
We hang wreaths,
light candles,
trim the tree,
wrap gifts,
and string enough electrical lights
all around our houses to keep
the man in the moon up at night.

But Easter.
Whaddya do?
If youíre a real fanatic,
you dye a few eggs and buy a new outfit and BAM! Youíre done. All set. Finito.

But to Christians,
Easter is the most important day of the year. . .
or it should be.
Itís the day we celebrate the central event
of history,
the day Jesus rose from the dead
in order to make eternal life possible
for you, and me.

So maybe we can give
at least 20 minutes or so of thought
to what we can do this coming week
to prepare for Easter.

Of course,
for centuries,
Christians have prepared for Easter by observing Lent,
a period that begins on Ash Wednesday
(which this year was February 13th)
and concludes with Easter.

Traditionally, many people prepare for Easter
by making this a period of repentance,
denying themselves a particular pleasure
or convenience
or taking on a new task of service during this time.

For example,
a person might forgo one meal a day,
or do without meat on Fridays,
or volunteer one day a week at a homeless shelter to indicate their repentant spirit
and prepare themselves in heart and mind for the celebration of Resurrection Sunday!

But we donít
Pete Peterson
April 11, 2011
I just could not let the flocks I serve miss out on this. What great insight! Thank you and may God bless you.
James Lipscomb
April 4, 2009
Wonderful alternative insight, I was deeply blessed by this message.
This fits perfectly with where my heart has been concerning the poor and the vulnerable, something I shared with them the week before Palm Sunday. Thanks for your casual yet sincere tone, too.
Glen Madsen of The Salvation Army
March 29, 2007
Bob, thanks for sharing such a creative approach to Palm Sunday with us! I was personally challenged and blest by your "annointed words". I praise God for you and your willingness to share freely from your heart!