Think of an important event that you celebrate each year with a loved one, like an anniversary or a birthday.  And suppose you have seven weeks to plan for that event.  In a way, the more thought and planning you put into the day, the more meaningful your celebration will be, and the more your loved one will know how much you love them.

Lent is a period of seven weeks during which Christians prepare to remember the day that Jesus died (Good Friday) and the day He was resurrected (Easter Sunday). How can we prepare to celebrate these important days of the Christian year?

We can think back and remember how life was before we trusted Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-3).  We were separated from God by the guilt we carried for the things we’d done wrong and by the shame we carried for the wrongs done against us.  We were caught up in the course of popular culture, indulging our impulses yet never satisfied.  We were in fact aligned with powers working against God instead of for Him.

We can acknowledge to God how fantastic His love is, in that Jesus died for us even when we were against Him (Romans 5:6).

We can remember how we turned to God in broken humility, confessing the wrongs we have done, asking for forgiveness, and trusting that He would be merciful and forgive us (Joel 2:12-14).

We can give God thanks for the cleansing, healing, transforming power of the forgiveness we received through Jesus (Ps 51).

And remembering all this can stir a renewed love in our hearts so that we live today in ways which demonstrate our love and faithful trust in Jesus (John 14:15; Acts 26:20).

Break away from the busyness of life and take time to prepare your hearts to celebrate Good Friday and Easter.  May this Easter season be a particularly special one for you, for our church as we gather to celebrate together, and for Jesus, as we express our deeply-thought love and devotion to Him!