Planning and Preparing

Preparing for Christmas

The weeks leading up to Christmas are a time of preparation.  We prepare with gift shopping, home decorating, family gatherings, lighting Advent candles. Some folks begin preparing for Christmas far in advance. My daughter is very good at planning, shopping, and wrapping with plenty of time (weeks and months) to spare. My son takes a different approach; apparently December 22 works for him. While this technique would be stressful for me, he’s pretty chill about it.  I’m somewhere between Katy’s good planning and Jamie’s eleventh hour heroics. During Advent (the time leading up to Christmas), it is the time to make ready for Christ to live with us.

Preparing for Easter

With Christmas in our rear-view mirrors (unless you’re mapping out December 25, 2023, then wow!  I’m in awe of you🙃), it’s now time to direct our focus on Easter. It is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar, the foundation of the Christian faith. Lent is the time to make ready for Christ to die for us.

  • As we plan, we’re deciding and arranging in advance. We have to make a decision ahead of time about what we’re going to do. 
  • Preparing gets us ready. For Christians, preparing for Easter involves calling upon the Lord, coming to God in relationship, praying, seeking the Lord with all our heart. 

How can we plan and prepare for Lent?

For me, I typically plan to include a special Bible study or daily devotion specific for helping me prepare my heart. I plan to fast from specific things like excess tv viewing, social media, certain food treats –  by allocating time on my calendar for prayer and study. I’m basically clearing distractions and focusing more on Christ between Ash Wednesday and Easter. 

Have a family plan

What will your family do differently or fast from during Lent?  

If your family hasn’t traditionally participated in these six weeks leading up to Easter as a time of preparation, it’s ok.  Let this be the year that you are more intentional about preparing your hearts.  Make it a time for fasting, giving something up, praying more. Let this be a time to fully recognize our brokenness as humans and the need for a Savior. Let it be a time to reflect and open our hearts to Jesus. Let it be a time of giving up something and replacing it with prayer and worship.  Imagine the powerful messages you’re giving your children by participating together in deepening your relationships with God.  Let Lent be a time to reflect, repent, and grow. 

Start planning!

  • Talk with your children about Lent and Easter. Teach them that fun Easter traditions like Easter bunnies, baskets, and egg hunts are fun, they are not the focus.  Jesus is.
  • Set a family prayer time – Do this together daily.
  • Let each family member choose something to fast from (remember, it doesn’t have to be food)
  • Utilize one of the Lenten resources found here.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time he may exalt you.

1 Peter 5:6

I Will Turn 

(a daily prayer for Lent) 

Lord, I will turn, turn my face towards you. 
I will lay before you the desert areas I hide 
And turn to soak in your refreshing words of life. 
I will cast aside the barren, selfish pursuits 
And turn to rest in the tranquil warmth of your love. 
I will draw back from the harsh pull of media 
And turn to bathe in the gentle power of your Spirit. 
Lord, today I turn my face towards you. 
I will turn 
To soak in your words of life, 
To rest in the warmth of your love,
And to bathe in the power of your Spirit. 

(a Lenten prayer poem by Julie Palmer © 2018

In Christ,

Peggy Kelly

Family Ministry Director

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