When I was young I loved spending time with my grandma baking lemon meringue, chocolate pies, and strawberry jelly cake. My mom tossed marshmallows, whipped cream, and strawberry jello into a decorative bowl. My young sons would drip multi- colored spots all over the tablecloths while dying eggs. We all shrieked with delight when they bounced around the yard discovering the carefully hidden plastic eggs. Taking pictures with the Easter bunny and chasing the lambs at the petting zoo are long behind this mama.
My sons are grown now, but one is home for Easter. So how do I prepare my heart this year in the middle of a Corona Virus Pandemic?
Look for guidance in my bible, my hands turn to the chapter of Luke.
On the day of Unleavened Bread, the same day that the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed Jesus spoke to Peter and John, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover (Luke 22:7).
Even if you missed celebrating the Passover dinner. All is not lost, you can still prepare your hearts.
Four Ideas to Prepare Your Heart
I’m praying that I will not fall into temptation.
After Passover, Jesus had advised his disciples, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” The disciples had no idea how their life would be turned upside down in the next few days. How they would struggle internally during their sorrow. We should pray that we would not fall into temptation too because we also have no idea what the next days will bring either. But always remember, Sunday is coming!
2. Part of my preparation this year is to learn more about Christ
R. W. Dale suggested reading the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) as suggested by in Preparations for the Lord’s Supper.
Important Things to Remember about Jesus:
- Remembering that Christ has lived a perfect life on Earth and “who by dying delivered us” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
- Being thankful that Jesus chose the following:
“Around a table, not a tomb, He willed our gathering place should be; When going to prepare our home, the Savior said, “Remember me.” And at that table, meeting, and communing with his friends, we may feel sure and can realize forcibly that our living Lord is, in spirit and in truth, in the midst of us (W. Clarkson, The Lord’s Supper).”
How fortunate we all are to be invited to eat and drink with Jesus.
Self-examination is another important part of preparing for the Lord’s Supper.
We should look for evidence in ourselves whether we are a true or false disciple. To most at that table, even Judas Iscariot, was one of the twelve disciples. No one suspected the turmoil in his heart except for Jesus.
So how do we recognize true disciples?
We recognize true disciples by the amount of their Faith, Joy, and Love that burns within them. When our faith, joy, and love is burning faintly, we turn to Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father. He strengthens us so that we can abide in Him (W. Clarkson, The Lord’s Supper).
4. Gather in the presence of our Lord
We can still Trust Jesus with our heart, thank him for being our joy and hope especially during this uncertain times (C.H. Spurgeon, The Ordained Memorial).
R. Ferguson author of The Cup of Sneering and of Communion wrote, “When heart communes with heart it is like the mingling dew drops” on the rose petal.
This beautiful picture accurately describes what is happening in our world this year. Friends are lifting up other’s family and friends in prayer – our hearts are communing “like the mingling dew drops on the rose petal” as we wait to see what the LORD will do next.
The Passover is a memorial to an unbelieving world that we believe in Jesus, who lived, died, and three days later was resurrected. Jesus is alive and still lives at the right hand of God (C. J. Ridgeway in The Holy Communion).
So How did Jesus spend the Passover?
Jesus desired to eat the Passover with his disciples in the guest room of a house.
Not with his family like my tradition. Jesus eagerly desired to eat this Passover with his apostles reclined around a table (Luke 22: 15). He gave thanks with his disciples and breaking the bread, He said to them, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” He continued to explain that “this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you (Luke 22:20).
Jesus is speaking of what is to come but the disciples were focused on other things. They were actually bickering about who was the greatest.
Okay, to be honest…I can’t help but smile when I hear that a dispute began at his table too. I know all the momma’s reading this can relate. But Jesus is speaking about important topics, so let’s try to re-focus.
Jesus responded to his bickering friends, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).”
Ouch! Are we being sifted like wheat? There are so many distractions surrounding us this year. We’re hunting down toilet paper and wearing masks to the bank. Who would have thunk it?
Jesus knew Simon Peter would be sifted as wheat just as we are being sifted every day during this COVID 19 pandemic. But listen to what Jesus said next, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22: 31).
I couldn’t help but stop and replace his name with mine. Place your name in the blank below:
“But I have prayed for you, ___________, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22:31).
Jesus knew Simon would blow it big time, in the same way that I have through the years of many Easter traditions. But listen to what Jesus says next, “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed in this moment, this past week, last year, or even all your years. Jesus knows you will turn back. So, if you have failed like me. Take heart, because we can always turn back to Jesus. And when we do, we can strengthen our brothers and sisters.
Recommitting our Decision to Christ
- You are saved.
Jesus tells us, that He is the door. If anyone enters by Him, we will be saved (John 10:9 ESV).
This year we are socially isolated, but you can still invite Jesus in. The bible says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20).
What an honor to open the door and have Jesus enter your life to dine with us!
In case you doubt that this includes you, the bible says “Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
2. You are a child of God.
The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).
3. You have everlasting life.
The Bible says “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
- Stand for Christ. Tell someone about your decision.
- Read God’s Word
- Pray and ask God to reveal His word to you
- Find a bible teaching church for worship, discipleship, fellowship, and serving
May I pray for you?
Let’s pray with Dr. Valpy, a Greek Scholar:
“In peace, let me resign my breath, and thy salvation see; My sins deserve eternal death but Jesus died for me.”
I pray that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. That we would all thank Jesus for forgiving us of our wrongs and for appealing to God in his last moments to “Forgive us, for we do not know what we are doing.” In his last moments, Jesus was thinking of us. Let us all this week, not be distracted but deliberately remember Jesus. Let us all turn back and strengthen our brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
I would like to send you follow up items to help you in your Christian life, please click the link so that I may encourage you.
I wrote a poem , “I Am the Way, The Truth, and The Life” and would like to share it with you.” You can send it electronically to others or you can print it.
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Maybe you are striving to read through the bible this year. If so, let’s encourage each other. Almost every day, I post my reflection based on my daily bible reading on my Facebook page. I would love to have you post on my page what you are reading too!
Free Online Bible Study
Join my next online bible study as we read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!
All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:
Another option is to join a FB group to connect to other women. We will begin reading the same book starting May 11th, but you can join today to find out what I read in the bible today.
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Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else