Laura is my youngest child, and from the time she was four or five she woke up before dawn on Christmas day. Her excitement and anticipation made it difficult to sleep.
As she got older, this sleepless pattern extended to include the nights before tryouts or before big events like the high school prom or a trip with her dad. When she got married at age 31, so great was her anticipation that I was afraid she wouldn’t sleep even five minutes on her wedding eve! But she did … a little anyway. Her bridesmaids spent the night with her here at our house, so I’m not sure it was quiet until the wee hours.
Laura is an “all in” girl who lives the moments of life to the fullest. Her sense of anticipation blooms full as she nears something she’s really excited about. And I’m so glad she’s never outgrown her childhood enthusiasm.
Her joie de vivre is infectious. Laura has taught me to be more expressive, to more fully engage in all of life. As a result I’ve learned there is a great difference between just waiting around and waiting with great hope.
Anticipation is watching with hope and expectancy; it is indispensable to our faith. While we easily associate this sense of expectation with Christmas, I’ve never heard anyone link it with Easter. And yet because we know the end of the story—that Christ rose from the grave—we of all people should anticipate this day of celebration for our faith.
Easter is the holy day that ushers in our hope of being united with Jesus at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Just as Laura and most other brides eagerly, expectantly, and joyfully anticipate their wedding day, so we as believers should experience the same expectancy about Easter. It is our engagement, the promise of His coming back for us to be His bride!
Jesus told us to become as little children (Matthew 18:3). One way to cultivate a more trusting child-like faith is to practice anticipation. Here are three ways:
- Ask God to clear away the fog of our “We know the story” mindsetso we can see afresh the stunning wonder of the Resurrection.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to open your eyes,to see with wonder and awe the miracles of Easter for you, that Jesus died for you as if you were the only one.
- Then get engaged. Don’t passively wait for God to do something spectacular. He already did on the cross! Your job is to get involved, spend some energy and time just as you would getting ready for a wedding, a birthday party, and of course Christmas. When we anticipate something important, we prepare to celebrate fully and exuberantly. Unless you grow anticipation by investing in planning for Easter it will continue to be just another Sunday.
So come on. Join us at Ever Thine Home in making much of Easter this year. Start building anticipation in your home today and it might just deepen faith in each of your family members. And wouldn’t that be worth the effort?
What do you do for Easter? What does your church do? We’d love to hear from you … just leave a comment at the end of this post.