You may well be wondering, why is Easter so late this year? After the jump, an excerpt and a link to an interesting article about how the date for Easter is calculated. It also demonstrates once again the antiquity of the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, its ties to the Jewish passover, and its lack of connection to any pagan festivals. [Read more…]
Church attendance is down, but lots of people–including those who don’t come the rest of the year–still go to church on Easter, as well as Christmas. The tendency is sometimes to look down on “Christmas/Easter Christians.” But the fact is, on these two days of the year, they show up. Why is that?
You pastors, how do you handle this phenomenon? (Do you take the opportunity to upbraid them for not coming the rest of the year? I have heard that! Do you do anything different?) After the jump, an interesting discussion on the topic from the Barna people. [Read more…]
You’re probably already hearing the old canards about Easter and its customs being based in pagan festivals. It’s just not true! After the jump, links to two documented accounts from Pastor Joseph Abrahamson that gives the historical background and churchly contexts of the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. [Read more…]
In the sermon for the third Sunday of Easter, based on John 21:1-19, in which the disciples saw Jesus while they were fishing, Pastor Douthwaite related Easter to vocation:
Jesus has not changed, and Easter does not mean that He is now done all His work and now it’s up to us. No, He is still working. What He did before Easter He now does after Easter. And Jesus is not just now all “spiritual” – He is still working through the physical, through their calling, or vocation, as fishermen. That didn’t change and won’t change. What changed is the disciples. What changed is us. Jesus’ death and resurrection was not to make Jesus new, but to make us new. To raise us from sin, fear, and death to a new life in Him. Not a new super-spiritualized life, but a new life in your callings, or vocations. Not to take us out of this world, but to make us new in this world. And we see that in Peter. He is a changed man. And so are you.
I hope you had a happy Quasimodogeniti, the Second Sunday of Easter with perhaps the coolest name in the Church Year (which comes from the Latin for the first words of the Introit of the day from 1 Peter 2:2: “Like newborn infants. . . .). We had another powerful sermon from our pastor, Rev. James Douthwaite, preaching on John 20:19-31:
And the disciples did. Was God with them in that room behind locked doors because God is present everywhere anyway? Sure. But that wasn’t much comfort. Jesus knew they needed not just a “well we know He’s here, somewhere” God, but a “He’s here for me” Saviour. Jesus knew, and so He came. In the flesh. To raise them from their sin and fear to a new life in Him.
And Jesus knows that’s what you need as well. “I know God is with me because He’s present everywhere” just doesn’t cut it when you’re locked in fear and sin and darkness and impending death and God seems a million miles away. Like the young child crying out for mom in the middle of the night, who knows mom’s there, in the house, maybe even right in the next room, but that’s not good enough. That’s a million miles away in child miles. He needs mom there. She needs mom’s touch. [Read more…]
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent 40 days on earth. Then He ascended, and ten days later He sent the Holy Spirit. So Easter is a whole season, lasting 49 days until Pentecost (which means “fiftieth day”). So it’s still Easter, and I hope the joy of Christ’s resurrection continues with you.
What insights did you gain from the sermon you heard or other Easter observances?