Getting ready for Easter

One of the great strengths of our Baptist patterns of worship is the freedom we express and the possibilities this offers to respond to what the Spirit is saying that week, that hour or even at that moment. But in this freedom we can sometimes fail to do justice to the great Christian Festivals, and in particular to Easter.
Most Christians around the world begin preparing for Easter on Ash Wednesday which this falls on March 9th (the day after Pancake Day!) The season of Lent continues from then until Easter Day. Christians observe Lent in a variety of ways. Some deny themselves a favourite food, or television programme, to remember Christ’s Temptations in the wilderness and His supreme self-denial on the cross. Some people set apart special days of fasting, or spend extra hours in prayer and meditation during Lent. Some make a point of reading the gospel accounts of the last week of Jesus’s life, for example in Luke 21-23 or John 12-19. You may like to prepare for Easter in such ways.
Many churches count down the Sundays to Easter by following special themes in their Bible readings and sermons. The Church of England thinks about `The King and the Kingdom’: Temptation; Conflict; Suffering; Transfiguration; The Victory of the Cross and The Way of the Cross. The theme of our Sunday morning sermons will be “The Way to the Cross” as we look at the final days of Jesus’s life and just how much it cost our Saviour to die for us.
May God bless every one of us as we take time to prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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