What is Eastertide?

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Do you wish that Easter wasn’t over? Good news! It is not.
 
When observing the church calendar, Easter starts on Resurrection Sunday and is celebrated for several weeks. This season is also known as Eastertide. It is 50 days of celebration until Pentecost Sunday.
 
If you are interested in learning more about this, take a listen to this informative and enjoyable podcast from Renovare with Nathan Foster interviewing Dr. Lacy Borgo.
 
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The picture is of a stain-glass named Women at the Tomb (circa 1150) in Chartres Cathedral (Chartres, France)

Sermons on Joy can be tough to hear

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This Sunday (December 16) we will focus on the Advent theme of Joy as we prepare for Christmas!

Here are some thoughts about joy that may not make Sunday’s message:

– When one is suffering from depression, messages on joy often feel very painful.  For those under this cloud, we acknowledge your pain and remind you that there is a company of past and present saints who understand the paradox of living the Christian life while suffering from this condition.

– Even in the most dire of circumstances, there can be odd moments of joy.  The fall of 2003 was one of the darkest periods of my life after losing both my dad and grandmother and having a very unexpectedly sick newborn. Yet during that season I still enjoyed good meals, meaningful conversations, and touches of friendship.

– As much as we are able, we should choose joy.  Life is harsh and pain is unavoidable.  So, laughter and enjoyment under the Lordship of Christ reflects His glory to our world.

Two weeks for one sermon

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This hasn’t happened in years, but I did not finish my sermon last week, so will do so this Sunday. On June 10, I will preach from 1 Samuel 3:8-20 – “Hearing God’s Voice in Your Generation (Part 2).”
 
The church calendar is in Ordinary Time, which is a dynamic season of growth and spontaneity between Pentecost and Advent. Our faith community seems especially in tune with the Holy Spirit during the summer months, so I expect we will hear strongly from Him once again. Let’s gather with anticipation! See you at either 9am or 10:45am.

The Lent Season

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  The Epiphany season has ended, so Christians around the globe will spend the next time period preparing spiritually for Easter.  I will personally observe Lent, as I continue to order my spiritual life around the traditional church calendar.

As I prepared for Lent, I found writings from Father Thomas McKenzie with Church of the Redeemer Nashville so helpful.  I hope this sample of McKenzie’s writings is beneficial as you consider participation in Lent:

What is Lent?
“Christians have symbolically followed Jesus to the desert as a way of preparing for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The forty days leading up to Easter are a time of prayer, fasting, and self-denial … During Lent, we take on spiritual disciplines. We give something up (sweets, alcohol, television, Facebook, etc.), or we take something on (special reading, serving the poor, extra financial giving, etc.). The purpose of these disciplines is not to punish ourselves for our sins. Jesus took all the punishment for us. Rather, the disciplines are meant to empty us so that the Lord may fill us.”

When is Lent?
“Lent lasts for forty days, which are counted in an odd way. If you don’t include Sundays, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. That’s because Sunday is always a feast day, a day to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection, and people don’t need to maintain their Lenten disciplines on Sundays. Lent ends at sunrise on Easter morning.”

McKenzie, Thomas. The Anglican Way: A Guidebook (Kindle Locations 1821-1829). Colony Catherine, Inc.. Kindle Edition.