Tag Archives: Resurrection

The Truth Of Easter

Christ delivering Adam, Eve, and other righteous souls in prison (1 Pet. 3:19, 4:6).

Christ delivering Adam, Eve, and other righteous souls in prison (1 Pet. 3:19, 4:6).

The most famous sermon ever preached in Christian history has to be the one given by St. Peter to the multitude on Pentecost, as recorded in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The second most famous sermon, however, must be one given three hundred years later by St. John Chrysostom on Pascha (Easter) morning at the great midnight vigil. But St. John’s sermon has the distinction of enjoying an ongoing career as a living homily still preached every Easter in hundreds, probably thousands, of churches across the world at their midnight vigils. The words of the homily are timeless and universal, and they magnificently describe the truth of Easter: Continue reading

Reflection On Lent And Pascha

After observing Lent, and especially the last days of Holy Week, it’s absolutely amazing how exciting the arrival of Easter is. At The Advent, we had a service every night of Holy Week, including a vigil at 11:30 Saturday night in order to celebrate the Resurrection literally first thing in the morning. By the time of our vigil, the mounting anticipation was intense. I was weary from fasting and annoyed at my own shortcomings that the fast had revealed. The powerful Good Friday service the day before had forced me to experience our Lord’s death in new ways. The fact that Saturday itself is part of Holy Week — the fact that I had to observe it too, to think about Jesus’ cold body lying in the dark on a slab, me hiding uncomfortably with the scattered disciples — made me want to jump ahead to the resurrection I knew about from history. The emotions that kept bubbling up didn’t match my circumstances, like when a sad dream affects the tone of the next day. Continue reading

The Pregnant Forty

Storm_clouds
I just finished reading a book by Eugene Peterson called Under the Unpredictable Plant. In the book, Peterson uses the Jonah story to discuss the vocation of pastoral ministry. He’s really spectacular at drawing meaningful parallels from Jonah’s behavior, psychology, and circumstances to the life of a pastor, and often more broadly, to Christians’ lives. One example is his expounding of the message Jonah was sent to prophesy: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” To the ears not rooted in ancient near-eastern culture, the ears not familiar with biblical prophecy, the ears boastful of hearing what they’ve been fed yet condescending toward what they haven’t – my ears, our ears – to those ears, a prophecy like that sounds like some malevolent Zeusonian lightening bolt kind of hogwash. To the city of Nineveh, we are told, which didn’t have our ears, this prophecy sounded like an alarm. Not sounding the imminent destruction of a city full of innocent people, but a warning meant to steer a wayward ship away from the deadly rocks. Nineveh heard “forty days” and threw the ship hard to starboard… or port. They repented, fasted, and resolved to change their ways because in the declaration “forty days,” they heard “hope.” Continue reading