But we wait with the hope of Advent. We await the time when Jesus's reassurance to those Christians who would endure the fall of Jerusalem will be entirely fulfilled: "Your redemption is drawing near."
Jesus is the one good king to whom the righteous rulers of legend and literature all point. He, too, comes to us in a humble position, as a God birthed in a stable, crucified as a criminal, before being exalted to glory. He, too, overcomes the enemy armies—in his case, the very armies of Evil itself. He, too, saves us from affliction—not merely pestilence, but the very disease within our souls.
Lent. Otherwise known quite often in my mind as six weeks without soda--or something like that. Oh, it starts off well enough. The first few days I'm really into it. I go to my church's early morning Ash Wednesday service. I'm reading the scriptures, prayers, and devotions of the season. I'm challenged by fasting from … Continue reading The Lent Trap
The season of Advent is directly related to the season of Christmas, but it is not Christmas. Christmas itself begins Christmas Day and lasts for twelve days, followed by the also-related season of Epiphany. Often, we confuse Advent for Christmas itself. It's easy to do with manger scenes, Christmas trees, festivities, and such things. There's certainly … Continue reading Advent is Not Christmas
I hate Christmas. The stress, the materialism, the consumerism, the deception, and the overall empty, kitschy, humanist messages unsettle me. Then came Advent.
When we forget that the child born in a lowly manger is our triumphant king who undoes this present darkness, we can easily be overwhelmed by the darkness.
The sun doesn't shine as bright this time of year, but the malls absolutely glisten. We are entering what is known in our contemporary culture as the "Christmas season"... However, in the ancient traditions of the Church, this time of year has a completely different vibe.
On Monday, Jesus, after cursing a fig tree for not producing fruit, re-enters Jerusalem and raises quite the ruckus in the temple.
Palm Sunday beings Passion Week (or Holy Week). The primary event the day commemorates is Jesus' ride into Jerusalem on the Sunday before he was crucified.
Tomorrow, Palm Sunday, beings Passion Week (or Holy Week) in the Western Christian calendar. I will be blogging through the week, reflecting on the significance of the days, the ways broader Christianity commemorates this week, and particularly how it has been expressed in artwork.