Maybe you’ve never celebrated Easter. Maybe you’ve observed it every year. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to know how you can be certain that you will truly worship God this Easter? Join AMBrewster as he helps Christ’s disciples prepare their hearts for undistracted, genuine celebration this Easter.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a family resource from Truth.Love.Parent., a ministry dedicated to rooting families in God and maturing families for God so they can harvest blessings from God.
Discover the following episodes by clicking the titles or navigating to the episode in your app:
“The Confusion of the Crucifixion, Part 1”
“The Confusion of the Crucifixion, Part 2”
“TLP 248: Easter, Part 1: The Significance of the Resurrection”
“TLP 249: Easter, Part 2: The Significance of the Resurrection”
“TLP 252: Easter, Part 5: Make the Resurrection Important in Your Home”
“TLP 46: How to Be Jesus to Your Kids”
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Today’s audience is likely going to fall into one of four categories:
And, whether we like it or not — if you’re anything like me — then most of us probably fall into the third category. We’re Christians, but — if we’re being honest — we’ve made Easter about the wrong stuff, tolerated it, forgotten it, used it as a day to please ourselves, or a mix of all of them.
But regardless of into which category you fall, I’m excited to either reinforce your Christ-honoring celebration of God on Easter or help us learn how to do it for the first time.
But — before we do that — please rate and review the show. We’d love to hear what you think, and — if you can’t give us a 5-star review — please send an email to team@CelebrationOfGod.com because we’d love to know how we can serve you better.
And we invite all of you to head over to CelebrationOfGod.com to download your free episode notes and read our transcripts.
Alright, let’s talk about Easter!
If you’ve listened to other episodes then you know that — for the majority of my Christian life — I haven’t really celebrated God during the holidays the way I should.
In fact, growing up, Easter was one of my least favorite holidays because it was always on a Sunday, we had to dress up and go to church, and my parents didn’t believe in Easter baskets.
So, you know, it was a typical Sunday.
And there are so many things about what I just said that are wrong — the biggest of which was my complete misunderstanding about what makes Easter the most amazing holiday on the Christian calendar.
And since my wife and I have been married, we’ve been slowly realizing that neither of us really appreciated Easter the way we should growing up, and we desperately want to grow in that and teach our kids to love it in a way we never did.
And — for the past five years or so — we have been doing a much better job of intentionally celebrating God on Easter and teaching our kids to do the same.
Now, before we get into the meat of today’s episode by discussing how you can prepare to celebrate Easter, I want to remind everyone listening that I’m going to talk about a number of things that won’t make a lot of sense until you’ve heard our introductory episodes. You don’t need to listen to all of them to feel comfortable with today’s content, but I would suggest you listen to episodes 8 and 16. They will explain the Preparation phase of our Celebration as well as what a Celebration Wall is.
My goal today is to talk about how to prepare our hearts, our spaces, and our fellow disciples, but before we discuss that, I want to talk a little bit more about how Christians somehow don’t celebrate God on Easter.
How do Christians celebrate Easter the wrong way?
Some people put way too much emphasis on the bunny.
I understand how — just like Santa Claus — you may have cherished traditions and memories that you believe are innocent and fun.
But — though we don’t have the time to discuss it today — I have to ask, is it worth sacrificing even ten minutes of the one day of the year we focus on God’s most glorious earthly act to play games involving a fictional bunny?
Is our love and the love of our disciplees for Christ going to deepen because we told a story about a rabbit or searched for some eggs?
I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with coloring eggs and stuff like that, but perhaps we need to reckon with the fact that the Easter baskets and egg hunts have nothing to do with Jesus and don’t mature us in our Christ-likeness.
If the candy and the games do nothing more than please our own desire for fun and tasty treats, is God really preeminent at that moment.
However, on the other side of the equation are the people who put too much emphasis on the religious activities.
Have you ever wondered why people who would otherwise not attend church feel compelled to do it on Easter and Christmas? Does it really have to do with what God prefers? Is it really an act of worship to Him?
In a similar way, Protestants sometimes find personal satisfaction in their religious rites — to the exclusion of God.
Whether it’s dressing to the nines on Easter Sunday or preparing the perfect lunch or preaching the best sermon or singing in the cantata or just being present in the church on such a holy day . . . often we take more joy in the religious traditions than we do the God they were designed to celebrate.
And then there are others who honestly just forget about Easter.
Yes, they see it on the calendar, they recognize it when it arrives, but it’s not important enough to really prepare for or participate in with intentional gusto.
And each of these godless approaches to Easter — focusing on the bunny, forgetting the celebration, or following the traditions for traditions sake — are all a result of the same heart issue — idolatry.
There are only two God/gods we can worship. We will either worship the one true God of the universe, or we’ll worship the little-g god of self.
Distracting myself with the candy and games for my own personal enjoyment is for me. Multiplying my piety through religious observances just because I feel holier and I like it is just for me. And not giving God the attention due Him because of my own forgetfulness is also all about me.
It’s God or self every single time.
So, how do we prepare for an amazing, God-focused, and Christ-exalting Easter?
1. We must prepare our hearts to worship God.
Man’s natural proclivity is to self-worship. It takes an act of God and concerted effort on our part with the power of the Holy Spirit to substitute self-worship for God worship.
We should never approach it lightly, or we’ll slip into doing otherwise good things for bad reasons . . . or worse — bad things for bad reasons.
That’s why we should plan our preparation.
Of course, Eastertide has a preparation time already on the schedule; it’s called Lent. But whether you utilize Lenten or not, we’ve put together an Easter Bible Reading Handout and uploaded it to CelebrationOfGod.com.
Meditating on Scripture unique to the celebration at hand is one of the single best ways to prepare your heart to celebrate God.
It’s really hard to forget or overemphasize the bunny or not appreciate the God behind the symbolism when you’ve spent weeks meeting with God in His Word and in prayer.
I encourage you to download the free reading list and spend the next few weeks working through it.
Either that or you could read through the Lent Bible reading and then use the Easter Bible reading for the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Passion Week.
There are many options, and the older The Year Long Celebration of God gets, the more resources and reading plans we’ll make available.
The salvation focus of Easter is Justification, so it’s a great time to praise the Lord for your salvation and pray for those who you know are still unsaved.
You can prepare your heart for Easter by praying through the Bible reading passages and thanking Jesus for all He did and experienced to purchase our redemption.
You can praise Him for the physical and spiritual life you have!
The sky really is the limit.
But there’s nothing more profitable or powerful than getting into a conversation with God every single day where He talks to you through His Word, and you talk to Him through prayer.
2. We should prepare our spaces to worship God.
That’s right, it’s time to update your Celebration Wall. Get your Easter-themed verses posted. Put God’s Word in front of your eyes. Work on memorizing some of them every time you walk by the Wall.
Post a list of life-themed praises and prayer requests.
If you have a shelf as part of your Celebration Wall you can place certain elements on it as you approach Easter. Perhaps you can place a small palm branch on it on Palm Sunday. On Wednesday, maybe you could put a piece of unleavened bread on the palm branch. On Thursday you could add a nail or cross. On Friday and Saturday you would replace all of that with a miniature tomb, and then on Sunday roll the stone away!
God created you to be creative just like He is, so let your creativity soar!
And the whole purpose is to have a place in your church, home, classroom, or office that constantly draws your mind to God throughout the day.
And as you prepare your heart and space to worship God on Easter, make sure you include the people God has placed into your life.
3. We must prepare our fellow disciples to worship God.
After the Last Supper, Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn. In Colossians 3:16 we read, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
God wants us to impact and influence each other. Whether it’s singing or talking with each other, we need to be pointing others to Christ.
Invite your fellow disciples to participate in your Easter preparation. Share the Bible reading with them. Invite them to participate in decorating and interacting with your Celebration Wall, pray with them, and speak of God.
Whether it’s your children or congregation, students or seniors, friends or family, if they are not born again, the best thing you can do is introduce them to God. If they are born again, the best thing you can do is help them grow in their worship of Him.
I pray this Easter is special and fresh and new for you. I pray you approach this year with more intentionality and purposeful worship than you have in the past.
And I pray this time of preparation will help you celebrate God better this Easter.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets and join us next time as we discuss a bunch of ways you can celebrate God this Easter.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.