Greetings St. Liz,
The Woods family is very excited to begin our time with you this coming week. It has been a long hot summer for us as I am sure it has been the same for you.
I am writing this after standing outside with our oldest daughter, Harper, as we watched a nice little summer rainstorm pour down upon us. It was just long enough that it knocked the heat out of the air and left a cool breeze in its wake. It was cool enough that we actually felt like spending more than ten minutes outside after the storm passed. ...Read More
Easter Season Guest Author Seriesby The Rev. Daniel P Strandlund on March 29, 2018
Hi friends, Easter is this Sunday! Allel—oh, sorry, I got excited. It’s not quite time for that yet…but almost!
We usually make two mistakes with Easter Season. First is that we sometimes start to celebrate Easter too soon—Easter Egg hunts on Holy Saturday, for example. It’s important to wait: Lent is still Lent. Holy Week is about the way of the cross, Jesus’ last supper with his friends, the foot washing, his death and being laid in the tomb. The story loses some of its power when we skip straight to the last chapter.
The second mistake is that we sometimes don’t celebrate Easter long enough: Easter Season is a full fifty days, all the way until Pentecost on May 20th! Think about it: Lent is about fasting and repentance and mortality, and it’s forty days long. Easter is about new life and resurrection and forgiveness of sins and rejoicing—so it’s a full ten days longer! Easter isn’t just one day; it’s a whole season. If you took on a Lenten discipline, maybe take on an Easter one, too—only let your Easter ‘discipline’ be fun. Go to a movie with your spouse every week. Learn to two-step. Make fancy desserts. Adopt that puppy you’ve been wanting to adopt for six months. Die your hair pink. You get the idea. Fasting and repentance are practices of Lent. Celebration and refreshment are practices of Easter.
Part of my practice for Easter, and part of ours as a church, will be a seasonal change to our newsletter. Many of you know that I write an article like this every week. This practice is a joy and source of learning for me, and I hope it’s thought-provoking for you as well in some small way. For Easter Season, I’ve invited seven guest authors, one for each week, to write instead. Each is a priest, each is a friend and colleague of mine, and each serves a church either in the Diocese of West Texas or in Austin.
Our Gospel passage for Easter Sunday will be Mark 16:1-8. This will be our newsletter theme for Easter Season. It’ll work like this: I’ll focus on Mark 16:1 in my Easter sermon. Each week after that, a guest author will focus on one of the other verses. Mark 16:2 the week following Easter, Mark 16:3 the next, and so on until Pentecost. Not only will this give us a chance to hear from (and celebrate!) some talented clergy in our area, but it will also give me a little end of year refreshment in the form of a break from writing for a few weeks.
I look forward to hearing from them. I hope you do, too.