“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I look down at the calendar on my phone and find two entries listed for Sunday: April Fools’ Day and Easter. In that order. No, I didn’t enter them. Apparently my phone’s standard holiday app inserted them, with no apparent distinction.
Something about this picture grieves me. Yet as I enter into this week when we celebrate the anniversary of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, something about it connects to the state of my prayer life. Entering into this holy week, I find myself praying for my own heart. Lord, give me a heart of desire for my blessed Savior. Keep my focus on Jesus, and let this Easter not be just another Hallmark holiday, inserted in the calendar beside the likes of…April Fools’.
My mind goes to Valentines Day. On that day, am I expressing my love for my wife because it is the desire of my heart, or because the entry on my calendar told me to do so? If I’m honest, my heart leads, but I’ve also got an eye on the calendar. I’m sure that is why flowers are sweeter on any random Tuesday.
But this day is different. It’s not a contrived holiday. It’s not just another day on the calendar, like April Fools’, regardless of what my phone says. So I pray for my heart, and I encourage you to do the same for your's, that together we would resist the gravitational pull of our culture to cheapen Easter. Together, let us pray for hearts to rejoice in the glory of the Risen Savior.
Lord God Almighty, let me not see Easter as just another day on the calendar. Through the resurrection of Christ, you defeated death for all eternity, removing its sting for all those who, by your grace, have come to a saving faith in Jesus. The resurrection is the exclamation point of the gospel, proving true Jesus’ claims that in His death He would serve as a substitute for sinners, and in His life He would be the first fruit of the resurrection. Holy Spirit, protect my heart from the temptation to trivialize such a reality transforming event. Holy Spirit, please grant me a heart that desires Jesus above all else, that experiences His gracious love in the midst of my messiness, and that rejoices in the certainty of new, abundant, and everlasting life. Father, this is my prayer this week. Make it our prayer every week. I offer it to you in the blessed name of our Risen Savior. Amen!