One of my all time favorite T.V. shows is Friday Night Lights. If you haven’t seen it, please, do yourself a favor and watch it. The show follows the story of Eric Taylor, the head coach of the Dillon Panthers football team, his family, and the lives of many players and families in the town of Dillon, TX.
Coach Taylor has a mantra—one he repeats in critical moments:
For the players, these six words cause their hearts to swell with pride to take on the greatest of opponents with courage and determination. These words pull their eyes up from seeing only a bad play, a losing score, or missed opportunity and refocus their attention on the greater mission—victory.
Like the players in the show, as Christians we tend to get caught up in the narrow view of the tasks right in front of us—thinking that if we are busy doing our assigned route then we’re helping the team. But if we keep our heads down too long and never look up to connect with the One calling the plays, we might miss the changes happening around us. Then, before we know it, we’re disconnected from the team and moving in the wrong direction.
That’s why we need Easter.
Easter requires that we pause and reconnect with the reason we took up the task in the first place—Christ’s victory over sin and death. Easter gives us the opportunity to lay down our hearts, lift our tired eyes, and simply “fix our eyes upon Jesus,” allowing the grace and joy of Christ’s Resurrection to renew and refocus our efforts.
The work of fighting for the freedom to live out our faith is absolutely essential. But, if our work is focused on anything other than Christ, we’re missing the point.
Think about it – Jesus never took His heart and eyes off the Father. Not one time – no matter how hard others tried to distract Him, no matter how much ridicule and suffering He endured. In everything, He kept His eyes fixed of the Father. Doing so was the only way to defeat death.
Do we do the same?
This Easter, before you celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, take some time to honestly reflect on these questions: What is my heart filled with? Who/What are my eyes fixed on? Answering these questions will give you true insight to where you are in relation to Christ.
St. Augustine said so profoundly, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!” This Easter may your heart be full of joy and your eyes fixed on Christ, our hope of glory.
Here are some other ideas to help you (and your family) to clear your eyes and fill your heart with the joy of the Resurrection:
1. Read and pray with the Passion account during the few days leading up to Easter. Read them with intention. Slowly allow the words to fill your heart. Place yourself into the story.
Thursday: Last Supper & Jesus’ Arrest
Friday: Way of the Cross
Saturday: Jesus Placed in the Tomb
Sunday: Resurrection of Christ
2. Spend time discussing with your family, possibly around the dinner table, how you can refocus your family’s mission on Christ. Here are a few starter questions:
- What does Easter mean to us as a family?
- How can we refocus our family and bring Christ back to the center of everything we do?
- Have each family member give an example of how they can be a witness to Christ during their day.
3. Find a quiet place (room, church, park, garden, etc) and spend one hour in silence, focusing your heart and mind on the mission God has called you to and thank Him for the specific ways He has provided grace and blessing.