Advent is awesome – it gives us a season to anticipate Christmas and keeps my heart in tune with the real reason for our celebration. But Easter is another matter. I feel shorted and I am a little bitter about it.
There is no Easter music station to tune into. We don’t get Easter music playing over the Target loud speakers. No one is ringing bells in front of red buckets out front.
It may be the highest and holiest day of Christianity, but as Christians, we have failed to bring it home as a season for the world.
There is not, in my opinion, an equally engaging way to prepare for Christ’s death and resurrection. At least not for “Low Church” traditions. “High Church” folks have Lent and practice it with vigor but the rest of us fumble around ordering lilies, buying chocolate bunnies, and hopefully spending a little more time in the gospel accounts of Jesus’s life.
But as I studied Lent to incorporate into our Easter season at our church, I discovered something. Lent is simply not found in the gospels. In fact, Jesus would fail the Lent challenge. He came drinking and feasting and other than his temptation in the wilderness (a one-time event), it’s difficult to calculate any measurable amount of time he even spent fasting. The tradition of Lent is rich but according to scholars, it did not begin until at least 300 years after Jesus.
Before you accuse me of heresy, I am not here to trash anyone who finds meaning in practicing Lent. You may be well into it for this year already. And if this is a discipline that helps you, engage it heartily.
But as I processed our Easter season, I wondered.
What it would look like to prepare for Easter the way Jesus prepared for the cross?
Using his life as our guide, in the four weeks leading up to Easter, we will consider what Jesus was doing on his journey to the cross. We will look at a theme for each week. Our small groups will have scripture readings to study, a verse to memorize, and a challenge to apply to our daily lives. The sermons will also coordinate with the theme of the week as we imitate Jesus’s behavior on his way to Easter morning.
So this launches a series of blog posts on our themes.
If you are intrigued, I hope you will join us on a JOURNEY to EASTER.