Easter arrives at springtime. For me, spring brings marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, daffodils, dandelions, colored eggs, egg hunts, fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, ball caps, flip-flops, summer clothes, summer colors, golf, tennis, camping, traveling, friends, flowers, sun glasses, plein aire watercolors, graduations, parties – and family.
Is it Easter yet?
Living in the Ozarks means I enjoy the best spring offers. Our lilac bush is blooming, and we bought a new lawn mower that’s still in the box. Too early to mow.
Spring comes with sounds. Canaries, titmice, woodpeckers, robins, and cardinals are daily sites at our bird feeders. The canaries made an early return from their winter’s journey, adding splashes of yellow to the backyard. Titmice and woodpeckers stick the winter out in the Ozarks. As well, some robins and cardinals winter here. All we have to do is step outdoors or open a window to hear spring.
We have a squirrel nesting in our back yard – and a possum!
Best of all, spring is when we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His gift of new life evermore.
Slow down for Easter
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, just came and went.
I say to myself as I do each year at this time, “Let’s not rush through this epic event.”Â Do some bird watching. Watch Mother Nature wake up from her winterÂ nap. Journal an Easter Bible Study.
This week read the Gospel records on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that changed history forever.
- Matthew 26:1-28:20
- Mark 11:1-16:19
- Luke 22:1-24:53
- John 13:1-21:25.
As it is written … the week of Easter
- Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph, riding on a donkey colt (Mark 11: 1-10).
- All of Jerusalem is stirred at the coming of Jesus, known as the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee (Matthew 21:1-11).
- Crowds follow him and spread garments in his path and wave palm branches at him to welcome him as their king, shouting, “Hosanna to the highest!” … “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11: 1-10).
- Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and foretells of future destruction for a nation he called to himself, yet did not recognize the coming of God (Luke 19:41).
- Drives the money changers out of the temple for making the temple of prayer into a den of robbers (Matthew 21:12).
- Jesus teaches his disciples how faith in God and forgiveness of others give power to prayer (Mark 11: 22-26).
- Mt. Olivet discourse with disciples: Jesus tells of coming events and cautions the disciples to be watchful for his return (Mark 13).
- Judas Iscariot plots with the chief priests to betray Jesus for a few coins (Mark 14: 10-11; Matt. 26:48).
(no recorded events in scripture)
- Jesus asks Peter and John to find a room for the Passover supper and to make preparations (Mark 14:12-16).
- Jesus washes disciple’s feet as they take supper together (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; John 13:1-17).
- Jesus is betrayed by Judas (Matt. 26:47-50).
- Peter denies knowing Jesus three times (Matt. 26:69-75).
- Jewish leaders condemn Jesus (Mark 15:1).
- Pilate examines Jesus before the crowd of religious leaders (Mark 15:1-15).
- Jesus is beaten, scoured with hyssop, and mocked (Mark 14: 64).
- Judas Iscariot repents (Matt. 27:3-10).
- Jesus,Â crucified and buried (Mark 15:25-46).
Jesus’s tomb is secured by guards under the orders of Pilot (Matt. 27: 62-66).
- Jesus rises from the dead
- Guards find tomb empty
- Angels appear at tomb
- Jesus appears five times to disciples
Mark 16: 6-14
Tune into Easter Worship
SIDE NOTE: We live in a tourist area, and we dress rather sporty for church, being a camping and fishing kind of place. We want vacationing visitors to feel comfortable. So, ignore the casual dress of speakers at Woodland Hills Family Church. We may be casual about our dress, but we are serious about our faith.
Happy Easter and Happy Springtime from the Ozarks!