Easter: Giving Gifts with Meaning
As we approach Easter, it is really easy to get caught up in the commercialism of holiday. Chocolate bunnies, Easter dresses and decorations fill the aisles of our favorite stores. While it can be fun to give some light-hearted gifts, it is important to reflect on the true meaning of Easter and the opportunity it presents to give gifts of meaning. Easter provides a platform to share about the Christian faith with our friends and family members that might not believe or have questions about the faith. There are lots of great CDs, DVDs, books and toys that you can give as part of an Easter basket. One option is The Gospel of Mark DVD. Following last year’s The Gospel of John, it is the second installment of the renowned Gospel film series. It will be available at Walmart and On Demand March 14 from Lionsgate.
Just in time for Easter, the second book of The New Testament comes to life for the first time with a truly unique, word-for-word adaptation that uses the Gospel narrative as its script. Shot on location in Morocco with consultation from expert theologians and biblical scholars and produced by the Lumo Project, the film was given the Dove Faith Friendly Seal for 12+. The Gospel of Mark DVD is packed with behind-the-scenes bonus features. According to The Gospel of Mark, Jesus is a heroic man of action, an exorcist, healer, and miracle worker — the Son of God who keeps his identity secret. This critically acclaimed, epic production — five years in the making — is based on the latest theological, historical, and archaeological research, and offers an unforgettable, highly authentic telling of the Jesus story — ending with the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and Jesus’s instructions to spread the good news of the resurrection.
“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:1-8
Prepare your heart. Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ, we need to prepare our hearts for the Easter season. Take time this week to read through the Gospel of Mark. Write down the things that stand out to you and the questions that you have. Pray and ask God to show you things in your life and heart that need to be adjusted so that you can be more like Christ. Thank God for meeting you right where you were at, forgiving your sins and giving you the gift of life. As we remember who we were before Christ and how He saved us, it often helps us have grace and mercy to reach others with that same message.
Pray for your friends and family. Whether they don’t know Christ or they are wandering, pray that their hearts would be softened to the Gospel message. Pray that if there is something or someone holding them back from accepting Christ that it would be removed. Commit to praying for this group of people the weeks leading up to Easter. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you share your faith with them and pray that they would be able to go to an Easter service with you. If they do not live close, send them a link to a live stream message or look up a reputable church in their area.
Give a gift with meaning. Whether it is a child, friend or family member, there are lots of great options for Easter gifts with meaning. It can be a DVD like The Gospel of Mark, a devotional book that has meaning to you, or a CD or book that you think the person can relate with. Pray and ask God to show you the perfect gift for your friend or family member. Write a note sharing how much you care about them and how you appreciate their friendship. You can still pair it with their favorite Easter candy!