Friday, April 19, 2013

Musings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

MIGUEL’s MUSINGS:  A Lutheran reader
Why On Earth Do We Do That?
Why are we still singing so many Easter songs?
Easter is more than one day:  for centuries the church has celebrated it for 50 days!  In Acts 1:3 we read that the resurrected Christ walked the earth for 40 days before he ascended to the father.  So we commemorate the Ascension 40 days after Easter and the next Sunday after officially ends Eastertide with Pentecost.  50 days is roughly seven sevens, a week of weeks, and just as one day of the week is set aside for worship, so one seventh of the calendar year celebrates Easter.  But 50 days is not all we designate: The church celebrates Easter whenever she gathers to worship by proclaiming the death and resurrection of Christ on our behalf; every Sunday is kind of a mini-Easter.  As we walk with Christ through the major events of his life each church year, Easter remains of highest prominence.  Since Jesus is alive, we know that we shall live as well, and this is the highest cause for rejoicing.  It is why the season (and the hymns of the season) are so filled with shouts of “Alleluia!”  Remember as we sing, though life is not always in “major key,” believers have greater cause to rejoice in the hope of life through Christ.
From the Large Catechism:  on the First Commandment:  Let everyone seriously take this passage to heart, lest it be regarded as though a man had spoken it.  For you it is a question of eternal blessing, happiness, and salvation, or of eternal wrath, misery, and woe.  What more would you have or desire than god so kindly promising to be yours with every blessing and to protect and help you in all need?  But unfortunately, the world believes none of this, nor regards it as God’s Word.  The world sees that those who trust in God and not in Mammon suffer care and want, and that the devil opposes and resists them.  They don’t have money or favor or honor, and besides, can scarcely support life.  On the other hand, those who serve Mammon have power, favor, honor, possessions, and every comfort in the eyes of the world.  Therefore, these words must be understood to speak against the appearance of such things.  And we must believe that they do not lie or deceive, but must come true. 


  1. One the first things I saw with a liturgical church is the effect of the Church Year on worship. Growing up in a non-liturgical SBC church, the only three days: Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter. We followed more of the calendar for our society than for the Church. We had services for Mother's & Father's Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. I believe that many churches follow the same pattern.

    There is a natural rhythm to the Church Year and is missing in many churches.

    I am now curious why many churches refuse to follow the Church year? Is it too "Catholic", too limiting?

    1. The churches I grew up in followed the secular pattern as well. It's really quite sad. But why many churches refuse to follow the church year is a topic worthy of its own essay. I've heard all the excuses, and bottom line, they're pretty lame. I'll try to write up a post on it sometime.