How to Prepare for Easter
Imagine your best friend is coming to town for a visit: you clean your home, change the sheets, and buy fancy soap for the guest bathroom. You make a list of fun things to do while she’s here, coordinate other friends’ schedules so they can join, call ahead for a reservation to the best restaurant in town, brave the airport arrival terminal to meet her… you prepare.
Your excitement and love pour out in the way you anticipate the event. And the visit is all the sweeter because your friend shows up feeling welcomed, thought of, and cared for. The only thing left to do is enjoy your time together.
Easter provides a special opportunity to worship Jesus more fully than you might otherwise. Of course, Jesus isn’t coming for a special Easter visit. The miracle of his love and friendship is that he’s always with you, whether you’re ready and excited or not. But the act of setting aside intentional time to remember and celebrate demonstrates your love for Jesus in a special way.
The key to making the most of Easter is to start thinking about it now. Make a plan so the weekend doesn’t get overlooked, buried in your busy spring schedule, or filled up with activities that don’t allow space for Jesus. This intentional preparation is part of your worship.
Use the rhythms and themes of Easter weekend—from Good Friday to Easter Sunday—to shape your plan. Here are some ideas for reflection, prayer, and conversation to help you prepare for Easter.
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’s crucifixion—his death on a Roman cross. We call it “good” because of the powerful good accomplished through the horrible death on our behalf. This is a day to remember your need for Jesus.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline where we abstain in some significant way from food for a set amount of time. As we experience the discomfort of hunger and lack, we remember how much we need God to fill every part of our lives.
Practice fasting on Good Friday to deepen your connection with Jesus.
Use these tips on how to fast to get started.
Fasting is not merely self-denial. It is the discipline of replacing a good gift from God with time with God himself. Fill the space in your time and mind usually occupied by food by communing with God instead.
When you fast, set aside time to talk with God about the need you feel for him. One way to do this is by prayerfully reflecting on Psalm 63.
1. Read Psalm 63.
2. How does Psalm 63 show you spiritual dryness, sin, or idolatry in your heart? Answer this question in conversation with God.
3. Ask God to show you any other sin that needs confession and grace.
Want to keep going? Read “Bible Verses to Pray While Fasting” for more guidance.
Good Friday Worship Service
Conclude your day of fasting and prayer by worshiping in community at a Good Friday service.
Join The Crossing in person or online at 4:30 or 6 p.m. on April 7.
Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, represents the Church’s current, set-apart place in salvation history. We occupy the time between Jesus ascending into heaven and bringing his kingdom back to earth, sometimes called the “already but not yet.” And this season is marked by our longing for Jesus to come back and make everything right.
Take time on Holy Saturday to notice how you experience living in the “already but not yet.” Grab a journal and pen and answer the following questions to help you reflect.
- How do you feel weighed down and discouraged by sin and brokenness in your life? In the world?
- What do you most long for Jesus to heal and make new?
- What aspect of Jesus’s promised return fills you with excitement and hope?
Our hope for an end to our season of waiting is based on promises God gives us through his word.
Read Revelation 21 and 22.
Then respond to Jesus in prayer, giving thanks for what he set in motion on the cross and sharing with him your eagerness for his return.
Step away from your artificial, closely controlled environment. And step out into creation helps you reconnect with what God’s doing in the world around you. End your time of reflection and prayer by spending time outside, observing spring as it unfolds in nature. Allow this visible reminder of God’s renewing power and care for his creation to encourage and sustain your hope in him.
Easter morning is a time for celebration in community with other believers. This is a joyful time of hope and encouragement where we recognize Jesus’s glorious victory over death and anticipate the time when death, sorrow, and sin will be eradicated forever.
Easter Sunday Worship Service
Start Easter morning by worshiping and rejoicing with your church family. The Crossing’s Sunday services will be at 7:30, 8:45, 10:00, and 11:15 a.m. We’d love to celebrate Easter with you!
The early church spent weeks of the year celebrating the goodness of God with their communities (taking their cue from ancient Israel). You can, too! Whether you gather with your small group, extended family, friends, neighbors, (or a mix of everyone)… whether you prepare a fancy brunch, organize a potluck, or order pizza for dinner… gather around a table together to enjoy each other and celebrate Jesus’s resurrection.
Again, some thought will make this gathering come together more smoothly. Look for opportunities to worship God in the planning and remember the reason behind the celebration—this helps keep the preparation joyful (not stressful)!
Make the most of your celebration by saving space for intentional conversation about Jesus. This sets your Easter feast apart from other meals and parties.
Use these Easter Sunday Conversation Prompts to get started:
- What stands out from this morning’s Easter service?
- What difference does Jesus make in your life?
- How do you want to grow in your relationship with Jesus?
- What is God currently teaching you?
Check out more ideas to help you intentionally prepare for Easter at ColumbiaEaster.com. You’ll find opportunities for worship, truths about Jesus, and ways to get the whole family involved in the celebration!