Summary: A different kind of Palm Sunday message, one that looks forward to Easter
How to Prepare for Easter
We all prepare for things
in our own ways.
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.
when he prepares to fly a plane,
performs a series of different checks
and overchecks and underchecks
and Rice Chex and Corn Chex.
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 haven’t 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.
we’ve 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,
trim the tree,
and string enough electrical lights
all around our houses to keep
the man in the moon up at night.
If you’re a real fanatic,
you dye a few eggs and buy a new outfit and BAM! You’re done. All set. Finito.
But to Christians,
Easter is the most important day of the year. . .
or it should be.
It’s the day we celebrate the central event
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.
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 taking on a new task of service during this time.
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 don’t do that much anymore,
and I think we’re worse off because of it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s too late
for po’ folk like you and me.
Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler,
and I want to welcome you all
to Cobblestone Community Church,
So let me ask you, if you would,
to pull from your programs the little insert
which on one side has an outline of our
discussion this morning,
and on the other side
the Palm Sunday story,
harmonized from all four accounts
in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
taken from a wonderful resource I use often,
called The Narrated Bible.
If you’d like to refer to the passages
in your own Bible,
you’ll want to refer mostly to Luke 19
and Matthew 21,
as I share with you this morning,
three ways you and I can
most effectively and meaningfully
prepare for Easter.
The first of these three suggestions
is found in the example of the disciples,
and it’s this:
1. Do what Jesus says (Luke 19:29-40)
Look at the first part of the Palm Sunday story,
as it’s printed in that program insert:
As Jesus approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Jesus sent two of his disciples