Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lent = Easters Advent

"my biggest problem starts on Easter Monday (the day after Easter). I regard it as absurd and unjustifiable that we should spend forty days keeping Lent, pondering what it means, preaching about self-denial, being at least a little gloomy, and then bringing it all to a peak with Holy Week, which in turn climaxes in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday...and then, after a rather odd Holy Saturday, we have a single day of celebration...

..Easter week itself ought not to be the time when all clergy sigh with relief and go on (vacation). It ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems. Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don't throw our hats in the air?

This is our greatest festival. Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose 2 chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don't have a New Testament; you don't have Christianity; as Paul says, you are still in your sins. We shouldn't allow the secular world, with its schedules and habits and parareligious events, its cute Easter bunnies, to blow us off course. This is our greatest day. We should put the flags out."

NT Wright, "Surprised by Hope"

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