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Did you know that my wife is training for a triathlon? It is coming up sometime in July and she is training in all three sports. The bicycling is her strength, so she needs to work more on the running and swimming segments. I am amazed at how technical something as basic as “putting one foot in front of the other as fast and as far as possible” can be. She is my hero. Anyway, training and preparation are on my mind as I sit down to write this article.

Imagine for a moment that you have decided to run in one of those 10K races this Spring, let’s say on April 16th Chances are you would need to prepare for it. Maybe some of you could just go out and run those 6.2 miles without any problem, but most of us would have to start training for it. We should start slowly and work our way up to the distance of the run. Maybe do some cross training on some exercise machines.

Imagine for another moment that you have entered a “history day competition” this Spring, let’s say on April 16th. You will need to prepare for this event. You will need to do some research, a lot of research. Then you will have to organize it into some kind of presentation. The next step is to practice this presentation. After all, you want to be prepared so you can do your best.

Imagine for one last moment that you want to throw a big party sometime this Spring, let’s say on April 16th. You do not have to train like you would for the 10K run, or study and rehearse like for the history day event, but there is a lot of preparation needed for a party as well. You will have much planning, and cooking, and cleaning to do. There is an incredible event coming up this Spring, and it is on April 16th to be exact. The event is Easter. I think it is the most wonderful day to worship our God and Savior in the entire year. How are you preparing for it? That is what this season we call Lent is for. It is a chance for us to prepare our heart, soul, mind, and body to celebrate Jesus Christ risen from the dead. Preparing for Easter means more than getting our wardrobe ready, and our programs in order, and our voices and instruments in tune. It is getting our hearts ready, and our priorities in order and our faith in tune with our Creator. I think there are lots of different ways to do this, each way can be as unique as each one of us. This preparation requires our time, effort, and commitment. We also need God’s help and direction, so ask God to guide, inspire, and sustain you in your Easter training and preparation.

In Mark 12 a man asks Jesus, “What is the most important commandment?” . Jesus tells him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.” These are the most excellent ways (I Corinthians 12 : 31) to prepare for Easter. I think it is important to take this training one day at a time. Know that God is with you every step of the way, and we are all in this together. To borrow a line from Nike, a company that helps people train for other things, “Just do it!”

Your Training Partner,
Pastor Ron