4/4/12

Preparing an Easter Heart

Growing up, there was often much more emphasis on the Easter hat than the Easter heart.

The bonnet was purchased or made with care. Every woman wanted just the right "image" on Easter Sunday... feminine, appropriate, celebratory. As a little girl, my mom made mine cute and colorful. I strutted around, enjoying all the smiles and comments.

But when I got old enough to care about such things, I questioned why the outside was dressed up on Resurrection Day, but little time was taken to clean and prepare the insides. It seemed hypocritical to me that the woman who bought the most ostentatious, expensive Easter hat was the same woman who stooped to gossiped about the other women in the church.

There's no room for pride in an Easter heart.

An Easter heart recognizes the reason for the season ~ a phrase not reserved for Christmas, by the way. Easter is not about chicks and bunnies, colorful eggs and fancy clothes. The reason for the Easter season is all about the love and power of God.

It's about God's love providing a means for our salvation. It's about the power of Jesus rising from the dead after the crucifixion, lying in a tomb, and Good Friday (Luke 24:1-6a; Matthew 28:2-7); so that we will have an eternity of Good Fridays and Mondays and Wednesdays and on into eternity where "days" won't matter, because we will live forever with God!

Though Easter is a time for celebration and joy, it's not a time for pride ~ unless our boast is in the risen King who will reign forever.

The Easter heart is about humility. It is a response of love, worship, praise, and most of all, deep gratitude. Easter Sunday is our response to the reality of John 3:15-16 and 1 John 4:9-10. And though we will celebrate in a focused way on Easter Sunday, we can have Easter hearts every day when we remember what our precious Savior accomplished for us.

The sign at the alleged tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem spoke to my heart. The sign (shown above) says: "Jesus Christ, declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. Romans 1:4." It is the power of the resurrection that fills me with awe. But it is the love of God motivating the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son ~ for me ~ that fills my heart with humble thanksgiving.

I love the final stanzas of the Easter song, "Awake, Glad Soul" ~

"... wake, glad heart! awake! awake
And seek Thy risen Lord;
Joy in His resurrection take,
And comfort in His Word.

And let thy life, through all its ways,
One long thanksgiving be:
Its theme of joy, its song of praise ~
Christ died, and rose for me."

T
ake some time to contemplate the manifestation of God's love for you. Bow your head and heart, and express your gratitude to the One who loves you, died for you, and gives you eternal life. Prepare an Easter Heart.

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