Are you ready? This is a question we ask ourselves as well as others. We ask others if they are ready when it is time to go or begin. We ask ourselves if we have everything we need for an event, journey or process. We are checked for readiness for medical procedures, roller coaster rides,worship experiences, and leaving our home.
I wonder how many of us think about getting ready for Easter. Yes, many of us think about our plans for Easter dinner, travel plans for visiting family, Easter basket ingredients, egg hunting locations, and many of the extras of Easter. Yet, these are the extras. The central event of Easter is worshiping the One who has transformed our lives and our world. How do we get ready to worship the one who conquered death?
Many of us get ready for Easter in a season of preparation called Lent. This season begins on Ash Wednesday, which is February 10 this year. It is a season when we take time to reflect on what God was and is doing for us. We are all sinners. We all have actions, attitudes,thoughts, feelings, tendencies, and other things that separate us from God. Yet God loves us and wants a relationship with us. God loves us and is willing to do things in order for us to have forgiveness of our sins and be in a restored relationship with God. Many choose a spiritual discipline of self denial during this time to remember how much God is willing to do for us. We find that the disciplines of denial such as fasting or giving up something help us to prepare our whole selves for the celebration of Easter.
I wonder how we get ready to worship God on Easter or any other day? Do you prepare yourself? Is there something we need to be doing to prepare for the seasons of life that are ahead of us? Do we need to practice a new spiritual discipline in order to help our church be what God wants it to be? I want to encourage you to pray for our congregation everyday. Pray for our church leadership. Pray for transformation. Pray that we will be the church God wants us to be.