Easter Sunday is a significant day for followers of Jesus. It’s the day we celebrate all that Jesus did for us through His death, burial, and resurrection. He gave us life. And we rejoice in this!
Easter Sunday is also a very important day in the church. It’s one of the two days each year (along with Christmas) that many people will walk through the doors of the church. Easter provides many incredible opportunities to minister to both the women we know well and those we’ll meet for the first time. We’ll have the opportunity to share the gospel—the hope we have in Jesus—with women who may not know Him. So we plan, we prepare, and we do all we can to make visitors feel welcome and at home so that they may hear the message of life through God’s only Son without distraction.
And this is so good. It is of utmost importance to do all we can to celebrate Jesus and share His incredible love with others. But I wonder how many church leaders, including women’s ministry leaders, find Easter to be a rather exhausting day. Even throughout Holy Week, the special days we stop to reflect on the events that led up to Jesus’ death on the cross, our days are filled with meetings, set up, rehearsals, and other tasks. It’s easy to get lost in the preparation for church and miss out on preparing our own hearts to focus on Jesus and celebrate Him.
Here are 3 ways we can slow down and find time to think about our Savior—what He endured, why He was willing to die, and how it has changed our lives forever.
Read through the gospel accounts of the last days and hours of Jesus’ life. Begin with Palm Sunday and continue reading through the account of His death, burial, and resurrection. These verses have become familiar to us, so slow down and take time to stop and picture what you’re reading so that you may better understand what He experienced. If it helps, find artwork that depicts Jesus’ final days. There are many paintings created throughout the centuries that help us get a glimpse of what He endured. Talk to the Lord about what you’re reading in His Word. Write down these prayers in a journal.
If we’re honest, it can be difficult to stop and rest during Holy Week as we prepare for Easter Sunday services at church. And that’s OK. Pouring our time into preparation is good and important. Even as we go about our busy days, we can find rest for our souls. This week, spend some time thinking about God’s love for you. It sounds simple, but it’s often something we take for granted. As you reflect on all that Jesus endured, also think about what motivated Him to go through such suffering—His immense, incalculable, incredible love for you and I. He died so that we may live (2 Cor. 5:15; 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Thess. 5:9-10). Read through the passages of Scripture that remind you of His love. Thank Him for what He endured because He loves you so much. Find rest in His love for you.
Easter is a time to celebrate! As you reflect on His suffering and think about His love, don’t forget to praise Him for His resurrection! Because Jesus rose from the grave, death has lost its power. He overcame the one permanent human experience no one can escape. He defeated it so that we may live with Him forever. Celebrate Him! Praise Him for His love, His power, and His amazing mercy and grace. Enjoy His presence and find joy in Him.
As Easter Sunday approaches, don’t get lost in the preparation for guests and Sunday services. Take time to prepare your heart as well. Doing so will actually help the time you spend ministering to women and reaching out to guests more joyful and genuine. If your heart is focused most on Him, you will find it easy and fun to love the women who walk through the door on Easter Sunday. His love will overflow from your rested heart and you will be an example of the joy that is found in Him.
Tessa Morrell is the editorial manager at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. In addition to her role on staff as a writer and editor, she also has the joy of serving as a volunteer leader of a small group of young adult women each week. That’s one of the things Tessa is most passionate about: studying God’s Word with women of all ages. Before starting her job at Brentwood Baptist, Tessa served in various roles with LifeWay Christian Resources as a camp staffer, camp intern, and editor of devotions and curriculum for students. She continues to work with LifeWay as a freelance writer and editor.