Easter preparation comes in different ways. This is certainly the season where plans are amping up for Easter worship services. But, beyond music rehearsals and set design, how are your members personally preparing for Easter?
Easter marks the most significant event in Christianity. If there was no resurrection, then there would be no church. In the midst of stuffing Easter eggs and sending out social media posts about service times, the church should also prepare their hearts.
For liturgical churches, the 40 days from Ash Wednesday (February 26, 2020) to Easter (April 12, 2020) is known as Lent. While your church may or may not follow the liturgical calendar, you will certainly celebrate the true meaning of Easter and captivate your members’ hearts and attention.
Charlie Holt and Bible Study Media have produced an excellent video-based study for Lent called The Crucified Life (catch my interview with Charlie here). Filmed at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, this curriculum provides a space in which believers can listen to Jesus’ final words from the cross. They will understand and identify with His suffering in a way that challenges, transforms, and ultimately brings hope. The video-based teaching is accompanied by a beautiful, full-color study guide and a devotional book.
Of course, the story of Jesus doesn’t stop with the crucifixion. The Christian Life Trilogy includes two other studies in the series: The Resurrected Life and The Spirit-filled Life. These series can start at Easter and Pentecost respectively. These follow-through series will not only continue the story, but will also help the groups starting prior to Easter to continue on after Easter. A next step is necessary to guarantee the success of the first step.
While Pentecost Sunday is May 31, 2020, some groups find it difficult to meet during the summer months. That’s okay. The Spirit-filled Life study can be used in the fall of 2020. Groups can focus more on group life during the summer months, then meet again for the fall study.
While bunnies and Easter eggs are fun (and you should have plenty of them), refocusing on the meaning of Easter and what Jesus did on our behalf is a significant reminder for all believers. People live busy and distracted lives. Why not set aside an intentional season like Lent to prepare for Easter?
Testimonials for the Christian Life Trilogy:
“Charlie Holt brings us to the foot of the cross and the very heart of the Christian gospel. He invites us to ponder the death of Jesus for us and our own death to self in response to him. Powerful, compelling, transformative; a wonderful study for Lent or any other time.” – The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Retired Bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida
“In his series, Father Charlie Holt offers believing Christians new reflections on the sublime lessons of Christ’s sacrifice for us, while at the same time offering means whereby we as individuals can apply the lessons of Calvary to our own lives. The series is an important opportunity to grow in faith by means of encouragement and meditation, especially as regards the self-examination that all Christians are called upon to do in our walk.” – Martha Hoeber
“The Crucified Life is really taking our congregation more deeply into Lent. The stories I hear from our groups include new friendships, more meaningful fellowship, and faith-filled risk taking in several ways. People who have never led a discussion are doing it well. One host is even re-learning to play the piano so that her group can close each week by singing a hymn together. We are on an amazing journey together into the heart of the Crucified Life. Thank you for making these materials available!” – The Rev. Pamela Easterday, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Melbourne, FL