As we said "goodbye" to 2021, many did so enthusiastically. 2022 is now well underway with the early blooms of spring around us. Spring is a season of new beginnings, new life. You can smell it—the wet ground reawakening to life after newly fallen rain. You can see it—the early, colorful blooms punctuating the dull landscape that winter left behind. With so much observable promise, the coming of Easter is timely.
A Beautiful Prayer for Your Easter Sunday Celebration
I invite you to pray this prayer as we celebrate hope over discouragement, victory over defeat, and life over death through Christ this Easter:
The reminder that you are Almighty is hope-filled this Easter.
So much has passed that’s beyond our control due to the pandemic.
Yet we as believers can rest in the firm and certain knowledge that you will work all things for our good.
Scripture promises us that you are the good Potter.
We ask you to take the broken pieces of our lives and form something good,
Something to startle and amaze us—
Like you startled the women at the tomb!
The women came to the tomb,
A place of decay and death, ready to meet you.
They went away instead with good news!
You had conquered the grave,
And you graft us into that moment, that promise, as your people today.
Transform us today through your power.
Forgive our sin,
Redeem the dead places in our lives,
And plant new seeds of life and hope.
May we live as an expectant people,
Bolstered by your grace.
Lord, where we are afraid, bring peace.
Where there is anger and division, bring humility and unity.
Where there is lack, bring your abundance.
We confess as your people:
Your spirit is alive and active—
Give us the eyes to see it and the willingness to be used by it!
Christ, when you were on Earth, you said,
“Blessed are those who believe, yet have not seen.”
While we are not face to face with you like the disciples of old
We affirm that you are working, even now, to redeem your creation.
We affirm as your people:
“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed.”
Could it be that we are uniquely poised to see you move in big ways
At such a time as this?
Release your Spirit and let it blow through our needy land.
Bind us together as one people in your service,
Use us as agents of your grace, and
Move mightily through your church.
For the world is hungry for what only You can provide.
Only You offer enduring peace.
Only You offer victorious hope.
Only You offer unconditional love.
And scripture promises that those you seek you will find you,
When they seek you with all their heart.
Hold our tender heart in Your strong hand.
Let us experience your Easter promise,
Face to face with your grace.
May your victory be our victory,
As we await the promise of all your glory,
Face to face in heaven. Amen.
Why Do We Celebrate Easter?
Easter is one of the two most important annual Christian holidays. The first is Christmas with the birth of the Christ child. The second is Easter, in which Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The holiday signifies Jesus’ victory over sin and death following his crucifixion, the fulfillment of Scripture’s promise that Jesus would rise from the dead in three days, and the assurance of eternal life for all those who profess his name.
Easter marks the conclusion of Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It continues with Maundy Thursday when Jesus celebrates his last (Passover) supper with his disciples. It is punctuated by Good Friday, in which Christians remember Jesus’ death on the cross. The solemnity of that service is in sharp contrast to the celebratory hope of Easter just days later. Easter invites all believers into that same reversal, that same victory through Jesus Christ.
10 Easter Prayers from Scripture - Read and Pray Over These
Matthew 28:5-6a: “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.’”
John 11:25-26: "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?'"
Romans 6:9: “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.”
1 Peter 1:3: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
John 20:29: “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
Isaiah 25:6-9: “On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’”
Psalm 118:17: “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.”
The promises of Scripture convey enduring hope. But the story of Easter continues to unfold beyond Scripture’s pages in the lives of those who follow Jesus. How has God shown you his enduring hope in your life? Can you recall a time that you have personally experienced his reversal—victory over defeat, life over death, joy over pain? The world is broken and hurting. One way that we can honor Christ’s Story is to share our stories—like this one.
Interestingly, the call to share our faith is integral to the Easter story. Jesus’ parting words to his disciples after his resurrection in the Gospel of Matthew read, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20). These words of Jesus are known as the Great Commission.
This Easter, as we receive Christ’s Easter blessings, let’s also share them. The anger, division, and fear around us do not have to have the last word. The world is hungry for exactly what God can provide, and God alone can truly fill. As Christians, our privilege is two-fold. We are not only recipients of God’s grace, we can become agents of it for God’s glory.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/udra
Rev. Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., believes we don't have to live with full schedules and thin souls. A busy mom of three boys, she is a graduate of Northwestern University and Princeton Seminary and an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served in churches for over ten years. She has written for places like the TODAY Show Parenting Team, Huff Post Parents, Crosswalk, iBelieve, and (in)courage. Her faith and family cable television show, "Chaos to Calm," features parenting hot topics and has hosted four New York Times bestselling authors and two Emmy Award-winning journalists. Watch her episodes or sermons and sign up for her free devotional e-book by visiting her website, noellekirchner.com. You can connect with her on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) and also check out her book, How to Live Your Life Purpose: The Six-Step Journey to God's Best, that launched as a #1 New Release on Amazon and includes end-of-chapter Bible studies.