Monday, April 18, 2011

Post-Palm Sunday Monday

My more liturgically-inclined friends know it as "Holy Monday," and we Baptists think of it as "oh yeah, Easter is next Sunday!"  Regardless of what you call it, Easter --the most celebrated day of the Christian calendar-- will be upon us in 7 days.  One of my goals for this year was to immerse myself more deeply in the Christian calendar, not because it's mandated or prescribed, but because I know it will help me to enjoy far more deeply each season and holiday.  Holiday meant, originally, "holy day," and to be truly 'holy,' a day must be "set apart."  It's hard for me to set apart a day for anything without preparing for it, both physically and mentally.  Especially spiritually.  Christian holy-days are set apart for concentrated, intentional worship.  All the trappings are meant to enhance that central focus, not detract from it!

I've pretty much failed this year at observing Lent.  Somehow it just snuck up on me.  I could blame my non-liturgical church (which doesn't even nod at Palm Sunday-- I'm always a little surprised when they even have a Good Friday service, lol)... but it was really just me being focused elsewhere.  Thankfully, I "randomly" (as in, the Lord prompted me to) decided to listen to a sermon while making a meal today, and turned to Grace Church in Greenville, SC's sermon library.  Lo and behold, my old youth pastor (still a favorite preacher to listen to) had preached yesterday, and the sermon was up.  I clicked the title, "When God Draws Near," and found the sermon to be very encouraging.  It also reminded me that I'd missed Palm Sunday (drat). But at least now I won't miss the rest of Holy Week!!

I'm going to be reading the events of Christ's Passion Week in the Gospels this week, and will try to post a thought or link or quote -SOMETHING- each day to point us all forward to Easter, the day on which Christians around the world say "Halleluiah!! He is risen!  Christ is risen indeed!!"  (But I won't say that yet-- the early church wouldn't say 'halleluiah' for all of Lent excepting Sundays, just so it would rip forth with extra joy on the Anniversary of our Savior's Victory!)

Here's my Holy Monday link:  the sermon "When God Draws Near" by Bill White, preached April 17th, 2011.  You can download or stream it there.

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