Easter

Sins Big and Small?

One of the issues on which Protestants and Roman Catholics have often chosen to disagree is whether there are gradations in sin.  As Holy Saturday comes to a close, and as we prepare for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection tomorrow, I thought this subject might be worth a few words.  In short, I think both are right, as long as not overstated. (more…)

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Christ is risen!

It is customary in many churches, in many languages, for Christians to greet each other on Easter with the affirmation that Christ has risen from the dead.  Here are some of the languages used for the greeting; you can think of this as an Easter appendix to Omniglot with a phrase more useful than “my hovercraft is full of eels.”

Greek: Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!  (Christos anesti!)
Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܐ ܩܡ (mshiho qom/mshiha qam)
Latin: Christus surrexit!
Armenian: Քրիստոս յարեաւ! (K’ristos yareav/K’risdos hariav)
Arabic: المسيح قام (al-masih qom)
Hebrew: המשיח קם (hammashiah qam)
English: Christ is risen!
French: Le Christ est ressucité!
German : Christus ist auferstanden!
Italian: Cristo é risorto!
Russian: Христос Воскресе! (Hristos voskres)
Maltese: Il-Mulej qam!
Valley: Christ, like, is totally risen.

A navigable list of many more languages is here.

Of course, one’s ability to use this as a greeting (with its conventional response, “He is risen indeed!”) depends in part on being introduced to it.  This was alien to my upbringing, and the first time after my conversion that someone greeted me with “Christ is risen!” I responded, “Yeah, I know!  Pretty cool, ain’t it?”

Starting Off the Cuff

Things start sometime, if they start at all.  Tuesday of Holy Week is not generally considered the best time to start anything.  The events of the Passion have already begun, and the joy of Easter is not yet here.  And yet, this is where we always first find ourselves with God: things have started without us, and we have not yet reached the fullest joy.  So this blog starts at the wrong time, on the wrong foot, just like everything in our lives.

Tuesday of Holy Week is also not the best time for a road trip.  Holy Week “ought to be” a time of preparation for the severity of Good Friday and the joy of Easter.  It is a time of reflection, of spiritual discipline, and of worship.  But real life has its requirements, and I drove ten hours today.  This is also how most of us worship God.  A few people have the privilege of withdrawing from the world to devote their lives to worship alone.  Most of us have to work in order to eat.  We worship God in the moments around other activities, and we try to learn how to worship God in all the movements of our lives.  It is not easy, and it does not come naturally.  But Christ did not come to call the perfect, the devout, and the righteous; he came to call the sick and the sinners, like us.  And he did not take us out of the world, but left us in the world to be his servants here.  So real life happens, and we seek to worship Christ within real life.