My life is very busy at Easter. My days are consumed by an all-hands-on-deck time of planning special worship services and planning for overflow crowds. You stack this on top of my typical family responsibilities, counseling needs, leadership issues and the other teaching challenges that face the average pastor year-round.

It makes sense I would be busy because Easter is Superbowl week for Northstar, and I want to make the most of our opportunity to reach those far from the heart of God. As a result, you won’t find me spending the weeks and days leading up to Easter melting into the sofa watching the Miami Heat play, repairing that garage shelf or playing Angry Birds.

No matter how hectic the schedule, we need to remember, that Easter is more than expending energy preparing sermon notes, song lists and working on logistics. We need to prepare our hearts for Easter by taking time for reflection, confession, and commitment. I know my heart should soar as I contemplate the death of Christ and His resurrection. But sometimes we are so focused on the unchurched during Easter that we can lose sight of what Easter means to each of us.

Think about it: the single most pivotal piece of history in all eternity was Almighty God sending His only Son to this earth to pay the price for our sins on the cross of Calvary. He paid the price by giving His life, but He didn’t stay dead, rising from the dead on the third day. What greater gift could God possibly give to us? To all of us.

The news of the resurrection is life changing news, but not just for those who come to church this one time a year. The question each of us as members and regular attenders of Northstar is not what does this mean TO me, but what does this mean FOR me?

Start preparing your heart for what God will teach you this Easter. Take a moment and reflect on the grave empty of Jesus’ body but filled with hope for our eternal salvation. And look at what happened when Jesus walked the lonely road of death and rose to provide forgiveness and the peace beyond understanding.

In the hurried days before Easter, be still and just let the beauty of Jesus death and resurrection sink a little deeper into your heart. And find a few moments to dwell upon the bloody cross and experience the joy of the empty tomb.

As we approach Easter in 2013, my prayer for very person who calls Northstar their church home will remember what the true meaning of Easter is. That we will not only celebrate Easter on Easter but in every day of our lives.  My prayer is that Easter will not only be a meaningful service but help grow a deeper personal relationship with the Risen Savior and the reason for our joy at Easter.

Pastor’s note:  I ask that you pray for those who will be attending each service that God’s Spirit will speak to them through the Word of God. For Easter Sunday especially, pray for our visitors that God would draw them to believe in Jesus. Pray too, that your own heart be moved and blessed.