Thursday, April 6, 2017

Preparing for Easter - Thoughts from author Kristen Terrette

Easter Preparation
by Kristen Terrette

As a child, I never understood Passover, Palm Sunday, and Holy week. They were concepts and words I couldn’t grasp. I remember palm branches being everywhere at my church, and I remember a story about people placing blood on doorframes (thinking that was a very strange thing to do, but knowing God told them to do this), but not understanding why.

So with Palm Sunday approaching, I am always drawn to the Scriptures about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish tradition of Passover (Exodus 12:1-30). This was the beginning of the first Holy week, for in only seven days Jesus’ would become our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) and have risen victorious over death, providing a way for us to enter through heaven’s gates. This was the beginning to the ultimate sacrifice and act of redemption… the last one we would ever need.

When Jesus entered the city on a donkey, which symbolized a triumphant King, a huge crowd was there to watch him pass by. Imagine thousands of people seeing him approach from off in the distance or hearing that Jesus, the King of Jews, was on His way, and moving into action. They rushed to prepare for Him. They cut palm branches from the fields and laid them on the road so even His donkey’s hooves wouldn’t touch the dirt. They took the very coats off their backs and laid them in road too… remember this would have been thousands of people. Thousands of branches. Thousands of cloaks. Thousands of people shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!”

If the people of the first Holy week prepared for Jesus, and coincidently what He was about to do for us, then shouldn’t we be doing the very same thing? Preparing for the day we celebrate His resurrection?

I find myself preparing for the cul-de-sac egg hunt, the big meal my extended family will enjoy together, and the Easter baskets I will put together for my kids… But what I should be preparing is my heart, and helping to prepare the hearts of my loved ones. I don’t want them growing up not learning about Passover, Palm Sunday, and Holy week. I want them to enter into Holy week with a Divine fascination and anticipation of what is coming. For the next Sunday, only seven days later, we celebrate the risen King! The mighty act of the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, defeating the grave once and for ALL!

Each day this coming week, I will be reading some of the Easter passages (below) with my children to help us understand and prepare our hearts for what Jesus has done for us. I challenge you to do the same with your loved ones!

Sunday- Palm Sunday-Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-38, John 12:12-19
Monday- Religious Leaders Challenge Jesus’ Authority- Matthew 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8
Tuesday- Religious Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus & Judas Agrees to Betray Him- Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1, 2, Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6
Wednesday- Last Supper- Matthew 26:35, Mark 14:17-31, Luke 22: 14-38, John 13:21-38
Thursday- Garden of Gethsemane & Jesus is Arrested- Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-51, Luke 22:39-65, John 18:1-11
Friday- Tried and Crucified- Matthew 27:11-56, Mark 15:1-41, Luke 22:66- 23:49, John 18:28-37
Saturday- Jesus Laid in the Tomb- Matthew 27: 57-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
Sunday- Jesus is ALIVE!- Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-13, Luke 24:1-35, John 20: 1-18

Monday- Jesus Appears to the Disciples and His Ascension into Heaven- Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16: 14-19, Luke 24:36-53, John 20:19-31, John 21

Kristen's Latest RElease:
Eva Elliott is left with a jaded heart after the death of her boyfriend while she was pregnant. She pushed away the idea of God and love, focusing solely on her daughter, Willow. She accepts an offer from her mom to move to Moanna Island, off the coast of Georgia. She hopes the move will help her tuck away the guilt for the role she thinks she played in her boyfriend’s death.

Thad Smith is the local youth mentor and football coach, who’s finally recovered from his fall from grace when his NFL career ended. The day Eva arrives, Thad saves her daughter from drowning in the ocean the day, instantly connecting the pair. Eva stubbornly fights the stirring in her heart the moment Thad smiles, but since Thad coaches the football team where Eva teaches, and lives down the street, God continues to intertwine their lives. Eva will not agree to a date, so Thad uses his adventurous spirit to his advantage.

She doesn’t expect Thad’s ex to throw a kink in the fragile plan, nor for Thad’s relationship with God to convict her own shame and brokenness. Just when she opens the door to God, finally ready to make things right, an accident occurs that could leave Willow an orphan and Thad all alone again.

About Kristen:
Kristen Terrette has been an avid reader since childhood, a self-confessed book nerd, and always had characters running through her mind- ones she made up. She went back to s
chool years ago to obtain a Master's degree in Theological Studies because she felt God's tug towards ministry, but she didn't know then what God had in mind. After five years on staff at her church, she followed God's leading to a different kind of ministry- one with words, love, pain, and real-to-life characters. She now stays at home during the day while the house is quiet writing stories she hopes will bring readers to a stronger understanding of how God works and His love for sinners like us. She always has contemporary romance characters and plots running through her mind and considers romance her first love...but she has a few amazing literary fiction novels up her sleeve as well. Both genres fight for time occupying her mind.

Where to find Kridten:

1 comment:

  1. I hope to join you in reading this next week. I did not grow up in a church, but became a Christuan as an adult. I've worked for a Church 24 years now... it's never too late to re-read this story