Monday, April 16, 2012

Post-Easter Catching Up

Hey everyone!

Sorry it's been such a long time since my last post. Easter is always the busiest season of the year for me because of all the church services and family get-togethers and whatnot. I was going to do another post today about my daily Bible readings but I have actually fallen behind a fair bit- I am still on April 1st! So that will be my goal for this week, to catch up on two weeks' worth of readings.

In this pascal season of the church calendar, we are reminded of what is, essentially, the formative story of our faith- that is, Christ's sacrifice and resurrection, and the weight of sin that is lifted off of us through that. There's heaps of church services full of rich liturgy and lots of Scripture, and it's just such a beautiful time of year, weather-wise as well! We've had sun and mild temperatures here in Montreal for the last couple of weeks, and that is just excellent.

This year, pastor Keith decided to plan a Maundy Thursday service at Emmaus. I had never even heard of Maundy Thursday, let alone gone to a service for one, so I didn't really know what to expect. But he asked me to lead the music, so I got to take a look at the liturgy in advance and that gave me a better idea. It's a pretty neat service actually- it basically focuses on the Last Supper and has a sort of joyous but sombre feel to it, if that makes sense? We had the privilege of having Bishop-moderator Don Harvey join us for this service to help Keith give communion to the congregation.

The next day, for Good Friday, Emmaus members were encouraged to drive out to Lennoxville for a joint service with a new ANiC congregation there. So a bunch of the young adults from our church hopped in a van together and made a party out of it. One of our good friends is living out there to study at Champlain College on the Bishop's U campus, so we picked her up after the service and brought her home to surprise her family.

Saturday night, after a long evening of dinner and walking around, my girlfriend and I joined a bunch of our friends at the Newman Centre, a catholic church group on McGill's campus, for an overnight reading of the Gospel of John. There was something really awesome about a big group of young adults hanging out all night and reading the Word together in preparation for Easter Sunday. In the morning (super early) we all walked up to (theoretically) watch the sunrise on Mount Royal, where there were a few other groups already there worshipping and just having a lot of fun!

Sadly, the sun didn't quite rise this year, as it was super cloudy and threatening rain that morning. So, up there is a photo from last year, when I went up with Victory Heights, and we joined up with the Newman crowd and a few other churches that had headed up.

What I find really amazing about Easter is that it's not just a day, but a full-on season in the church calendar. So, while the secular celebrators have had their chocolate and eggs and have moved on, Christians everywhere get to keep celebrating the joy of Christ's resurrection for a few more weeks before Ascension (which is also super exciting, but we'll get to that in May)!

That's it for today. I am currently reading a lot of stuff about penal substitution, so I will probably end up writing something about that fairly soon. It's seasonally appropriate I think :P


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