Officially, Easter lasts an entire season, all the way to Pentecost. This year, it’s still “Easter” until halfway through May! And yet, in real life, Easter seems to evaporate before we finish the hard-boiled eggs.
Lent’s an awful lot of work for just a new spring outfit and a day or two of gorging on your Lenten sacrifice (chocolate, TV, impersonating Pee-wee Herman, whatever.) Let’s stop ripping ourselves off. Let’s celebrate Easter for a full season.
It’s not like we don’t know how to do seasons. Look at Lent. Once you enter that Ash Wednesday tunnel, you don’t forget where you are until the Easter exit. Every time you pass the television or a friend dancing the tequila, you scrape the tunnel wall. Yes, it’s still Lent.
Learn the Resurrection Story by Heart
In the Gospel of John, the Resurrection stories add up to 51 verses. That’s almost exactly one verse for each day of the Easter season.
You might think you have a bad memory, but trust me, you can learn one verse a day. Millions of Muslims have learned the entire Quran by heart, and that’s 80,000 words, a good-sized novel.
You don’t need to craft crazy memory pictures or become a super-genius. Instead, form a new, simple habit.
A Simple Memory Habit
When you wake up, start at the first verse, and recite all the verses you’ve learned. Then learn your new verse for today.
Before each meal, say your new verse again. Check for any mistakes, and say the verse again correctly.
These recitations only take a few minutes, but they’ll make your memorization actually work. Psychologists have found that when you learn something new, you need to repeat it several times within a short timeframe.
Now you know why we usually forget. We read something once, and don’t try to remember it until long after.
When you go to bed, say all the verses again one more time.
Keeping Easter in Mind
See what’s happening here? You’re thinking about Easter five times a day. You keep trying to jolt yourself into noticing that you’re going to live forever. You’re making Easter last.
Tools for the Journey
I’ve made a few tools to help you learn these Easter verses.
First, my new book: Easter by Heart: How to Memorize the Gospel Stories of the Resurrection. You’ll get more tips on how to memorize easily, especially on using rhythm.
You can also listen to these verses with my new podcast: Books by Heart. Each episode offers the verses for that day, with time for you to repeat what you hear. You don’t have to start on Easter Sunday. Just start today, with the first episode.
If you’re on Facebook, join me and other Bible learners on our “Books by heart” page. I’d love to meet you.
Easter doesn’t have to fizzle. Let’s bring this season back to life.
About the Author
Bill Powell has learned tens of thousands of words by heart, including the entire Gospel of Mark. He lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife Beth, their four children, and a young forest garden.
Copyright 2013 Bill Powell