March 31, 2012, 11:57 AM

I’m seeing them all over town again this year, the little white cross yard signs that says “He is risen!”.  Now please understand, I agree with the sign’s message, but I don’t agree with the timing of their display.

We are in Lent.  We are beginning Holy Week.  This is the time to walk the road with Jesus, to try to stay awake, to help to carry the cross, to be there at the trial, the cross, and the tomb.  I feel we are missing out on a special time of the Christian Year if we “skip out” on Lent and Holy Week and go straight to the celebration of Easter.

We know what’s going to happen!  We can anticipate the miracle of Easter, but remembering the journey and reliving it with Jesus is important to our souls, to our growing up in Christ, to our “going higher up and further in”.

The “world” seems set on jumping ahead.  We do it at Advent, too.  Christians join in the buying frenzy of the “world” even before Advent begins and by the time Christmastide arrives people are throwing away and putting up, just when it is time to celebrate Christ’s birth.  Advent, like Lent, is a time to prepare ourselves for an important time of celebration.  When we don’t take the time to prepare, to study, to pray, and to grow, we are missing out on a blessing that is ours if only we will seek it.  We are stunting our growth. 

There is something good about the discipline of waiting.  During Lent the waiting is meant to be filled with learning and struggle and self examination.  It is tempting and much easier to go straight to the celebration, but I pray we will discipline ourselves to observe the Christian year, take our time, and learn to love the special “seasons” of the Christian year.  

I encourage you to be very intentional about making this Holy Week- holy.  Clear your calendar and go to services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Sunrise Service, and Easter Sunday. It's important to "show up"! Read the scripture, pray, and listen.  Be still, clear your mind, and listen to what God is saying to you.

Please wait to put up the little white cross in your yard until early on Easter morning.  I think it will make all the difference.

 
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