The Serenity Prayer: Bible Meaning and Use Today
Easter is a favorite holiday for many because it celebrates Jesus’ resurrection on the cross and the new life he gave because of his sacrifice. But sometimes, we get stuck in old habits and celebrate Easter in the same way each year.
While there is nothing wrong with this, you may want to try something different to make your Easter celebration even more memorable.
Easter is not just about one day where we celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection, but it is about remembering the entirety of his ministry and all the things he did leading up to that special day. Here are six ways to celebrate Easter this year:
1. Good Friday Service
So many of us celebrate the Easter service with bright, frilly dresses, candy, and going to church on Easter morning to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. While these things are all important, we often skip past the two days prior to Easter.
Good Friday, although a deeply mournful day, can become a solemn worship experience for anyone who wants to truly understand the depth of God’s love for them and the breadth of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
There are many ways to create a Good Friday service. It does not have to require a separate sermon, although it can.
Playing slow worshipful songs that have deep meaning for your congregation, along with reciting the story following up to Jesus’ resurrection, can be a great way for people to remember Jesus. There’s also a great way for your congregation to get involved.
Many people can come up to the microphone, recite a verse, and share a prayer as to how to remember Jesus in a meaningful way. Our church conducts a Good Friday service each year. I wrote about it in my article titled” Need a Fresh Idea for good Friday?”
2. An Extended Sabbath
Sabbath is a difficult concept to celebrate each week, let alone the week before Easter. For 24 hours, remembering the painful process of Jesus’ death and resurrection for Easter will help you celebrate even more when you walk through the doors of your Easter morning service.
Take time to meditate on the scriptures before Peter and John discover Jesus is no longer in the tomb. Get a commentary and study the meaning behind these events.
Meditate on these scriptures throughout the week to get your mind ready for Easter. Take time out of your busy schedule and do nothing but just meditate on Christ’s goodness will put you in a great place spiritually to celebrate Easter in a new way.
3. Learn about Shabbat
In the Jewish tradition, from Friday 6:00 p.m. to Saturday to 6:00 p.m., they celebrate Shabbat. For 24 hours, they rest from all work. They don’t do any household chores, they rest from all technology, and they just enjoy time with their family and keep the day holy.
If we’re honest, we don’t celebrate Sabbath as a celebration. Choose to make a celebratory meal at the end of your Sabbath observance. Place a candle in your window to let people know you are celebrating and are not to be disturbed.
Make the Sabbath holy by studying Shabbat. Are there principles from the Jewish traditions that you can incorporate into your own Sabbath each week? The Jewish faith can teach us a lot about what it means to keep a special day set apart from the other days of the work week.
4. Plant Some Trees
Since Easter is all about resurrection and new life, what a better way to celebrate new life than something coming from nothing than doing something to help your environment? Plant a new tree in your backyard and watch as it grows year after year.
Study its roots and notice how strong the roots need to be before the tree will grow. Take a lesson from nature and realize that nature is all in balance because God keeps it in perfect order.
If there is new life and resurrection all around us, we can be a part of that by planting a garden and planting some trees to beautify your neighborhood. In this way, we show respect for our environment and do something kind for our community.
To celebrate new life means we put aside the old ways of thinking and our flesh. This means acting in a way most people don’t see very often.
When we demonstrate the gifts of the spirit and allow ourselves a way to help our communities, we become better people, and our community is changed because of it.
5. Make Service a Priority
The majority of Jesus’ ministry comprised of healing people, teaching his disciples, and meeting the needs of his community. He also dedicated part of his time to being alone and maintaining his relationship with God.
In society, however, we spend most of our time working to put food on our tables and a roof over our heads; we spend very little (if any) time in service to your local church body.
In what ways can we emulate Jesus’ ministry and serve in your local church, and other classes where you can teach and help others understand the Word? Are there people who need healing in your church?
You could start a prayer team and allow people to come for healing at the end of the service. Talk with your pastor and see what areas of the church he thinks might be great for you to serve. This will help you remember ministry every day, not just on Easter Sunday.