Are you prepared for Easter?

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We’re about to be bombarded again with another commercialized holiday season.  Easter is approaching, and the shopping centers promise not to disappoint.  Already the other day I saw a big banner announcing a store’s emphasis, “Bunnylicious” (sounded like a really cheesy Fergie knock-off on an already cheesy song).  There’s sure to be mounds of chocolate bunnies, gooey peeps, egg-coloring kits (everything from camouflage to tie dye to stickers), baskets and every kind of trinket they know we’ll stuff in them.  The disappointment is that it’s all consumer driven.  That means me.  I buy this stuff.  I add to the spring buzz that’s no doubt meant to drown out the religious overtones of Easter.  What’s crazy is that it doesn’t just stop with Target or Wal-Mart.  I’m sure Christian bookstores make a killing during this season.

But just hold on…

I’m not saying that any of this is inherently wrong (other than the Fergie reference).  It’s difficult to make a legitimate argument that the Easter bunny is the spawn of Satan, and it’s perfectly fine for you to build your child an Easter basket and hunt for eggs.  And who’s not looking forward to ripping into a pack of peeps?!

All this commercialized hype can be a lot of fun and add positive memories to an already celebratory season with friends and family.  So color your eggs, down some chocolate, take family pictures in your dresses and ties…but sanctify the real reason for celebration.  Set it apart.  Don’t cheapen the cross and the empty tomb by mixing it in with superfluous holiday consumption.

I know you’ve heard this kind of message a thousand times before (at least every time Christmas & Easter come rolling around again), but let’s talk some strategy here.  Go ahead, huddle up!  Lean in and listen up!  I realize that as Christians we should be celebrating the Resurrection every Sunday, but do you recognize the opportunities this holiday season can provide for us?  At some point this Easter season, the people in our communities are going to hear or see some reference to Jesus.  Religious people, religious sub-cultures and churches thrive on the exposure they receive around this holiday, and our culture may be more sensitive, more inquisitive or at least more aware of what happens in churches and what’s being taught.

But the question is, Will they hear the gospel?

So here’s where I have to ask you, Are you prepared for Easter? Are you prepared to take advantage of opportunities that may come up in casual conversation that would allow you to speak the truth about our Creator and Redeemer? (1 Peter 3:15)

Here’s a hint: if you know and delight in Christ then you can confidently answer, Yes! Easter Sunday is not the reason we celebrate.  We celebrate because we know Jesus.  Our joy is in Him alone.  We can marvel in the truth that Jesus + nothing = everything.  Jesus knew how bad our condition was, and He fixed it with a bloody cross and a resurrected body.  We are free from sin and alive to God.  We have a personal relationship with the Almighty Creator…all because of Jesus!  Praise God!  Hallelujah, all I have is Christ!

And we think on these glorious truths everyday…not just once a year…but all the more when given an opportunity to share it with any who might pause to listen.

So instead of worrying about when you’re going to color your eggs, what you’re going to wear for Easter Sunday, or how many peeps you can cram into your mouth at the same time, let’s prepare our hearts to worship Christ and share His name with others.  Write the name of an unsaved friend, family member or coworker down on a sheet of paper and ask God to give you boldness for sharing the gospel with them in the next week (I didn’t say invite them to our Easter service…although that’s fine…).  Tell them about Jesus!  His name should flow out of the hearts and mouths of those who know and delight in Him.

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