Easter is the high point of the Christian year. We remember the turning point of history. On Good Friday, we recall God Himself being torn apart as Christ bore our sins on the cross. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate the destruction of our greatest enemy (death) and the prospect of life eternal.

3 ways to prepare your hearts for Easter

With Easter approaching, here are 3 ways to increase the depth of your celebration:

1. Reflect

Reflect on the truth of Easter. Reflect by looking at what the Scriptures say about Christ’s cross and resurrection. Currently in church, we are listening to God address us in John’s gospel. We’re meeting God in the flesh, seeing his glory – ‘full of grace and truth’. Match his arrival with a reflection on the final days of his earthly ministry. Skip to John 13 and read of ‘his hour’ – the glory of His shame and triumph. You can add a focus on Christ’s words from the cross – consider how each forms your relationship with Him and why each are recorded in that way for your good:

  • “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)
  • “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
  • “Dear woman here is your son”. “Here is your mother” (John 19:26,27)
  • “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
  • “I am thirsty” John 19:28
  • “It is finished.” John 19:30
  • “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46

2. Ask

Pray that God might keep re-forming you to be more like Him. The reality of Easter transforms lives, because it fundamentally transforms our relationship with God Himself. This change, changes everything in life. As Henry Knox Sherrill puts it:

The joyful news that He is Risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline and make the sacrifice.”

(Henry Knox Sherrill)

Pray for God to transform us all, using the prayer book’s collect for Easter Sunday:

Almighty and everlasting God, in tender love towards mankind you sent your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take our nature upon him and to suffer death on the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: grant that we may follow the example of his suffering, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen

(Australian Prayer Book)

3. Invite

This news is too good to keep to ourselves! The opening of John’s gospel is a great illustration, that pointing others to Christ is the natural response to understanding how good He is. John the Baptist is clear with his own disciples. They look to him, and he points them on to see Christ:

Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29, 36). 

John’s great desire is that he might decrease, and Christ increase in fame (3:30). The first thing Andrew does in discovering Jesus, is to bring his brother to meet him (1:40-41). When Phillip is called by Christ, he brings Nathanael. Nathanael starts sceptically – an intellectual snob (“Can anything good come from Nazareth?“). The kind of dismissive response we may have encountered. But when Nathanael meets Christ – he can’t stop from believing Jesus is ‘the Son of God (1:43-51). The Samaritan woman met Jesus as she came – alone and in shame – to draw water. Seeing that Jesus could and would meet her deepest needs, she left her water jug and raced back to invite her whole town to meet Christ (4:28-30).  

There’s a variety invited: disciples (those who you have influence over), family and friends, townsfolk who held this woman in little regard. A variety are invited – and all are welcome and transformed by Christ.

This Easter, step beyond where you feel comfortable – so others might find real comfort. Invite your workmates, family and friends to…

Easter at Wollongong

7pm – Holy Communion

8am – Reflective with Holy Communion
10am – Reflective with Holy Communion

8am – Classic Anglican with Holy Communion
9:45am – Contemporary Celebration with Easter Egg hunt
11:30am – Easy English Service with Easter Egg hunt and light lunch to follow
6pm – Contemporary Celebration with Easter Egg hunt

Easter at Corrimal

10am – Reflective Service with Holy Communion

10am – Contemporary Celebration (with Easter Egg hunt)

In Him,

Mark Smith
Senior Minister | Congregational Pastor at 8am & 7pm