If Lent is when we see the first signs of spring, Easter is when we witness the real growth and blossoming of nature. The months of April and May bring forth all sorts of flowers and vegetation, and this is true even in Hawai'i where we are blessed with warm weather all year round. The church seasons of Lent and Easter reflect this reality of the growth of spring throughout these months. During Lent we see the first sprouts of growth due to our Lenten practices and disciplines, but it is during Easter that the real results become evident.
Alleluia, Christ is risen! Many thanks are due to everyone who helped St. Mark's have such a glorious Holy Week. Whether it was the choir, the acolytes, the altar guild, the servers, or countless other volunteers, many people have remarked that Holy Week this year went above and beyond past years, For me there were two major highlights. This year's Good Friday service was especially moving, and I found the Easter Vigil to be particularly beautiful.
As I write this we are currently duplicating the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil programs. Lent has gone by quickly this year, and it is hard to believe that this Sunday is Palm Sunday. Preparations are being made by many different volunteers for our Holy Week liturgies. Easter flowers have been organized, candles for the Easter Vigil were delivered last week, and tomorrow the palms will arrive.
Without fail it happens. There are so many tasks to attend to over the course of the day, and the temptation is to skip taking time to pray. Just this Wednesday, I was sitting at my desk and I thought about missing Morning Prayer at 9:00 am. On Wednesdays Morning Prayer is officiated by one of our lay officiants, and it would have been easy to skip.
My birthday is March 1, and a few times throughout my life, March 1 has also been Ash Wednesday. I am sure that much of the world, when their birthday falls on Ash Wednesday, celebrates their birthday with more vigor than they offer discipline for the beginning of Lent.
The baptism of Jesus has befuddled many a student and scholar of Scripture. Why did Jesus, of all people, need to be baptized? If John offered a baptism of repentance, for what did Jesus need to repent? And if we ourselves get baptized into Christ, what was Jesus baptized into?Theologically, it can be perplexing.