Yes He is Risen but…


(Peter) #7

What an inspiring article! I grew up with my Adventist church ignoring Easter, and wondered why. The best explanation given was that it was “Catholic”.

As an young adult I began a long career as organist/choirmaster in several Episcopal churches. So, again, this week I planned the music for, accompanied, and conducted the music at my local Episcopal Church.

We began with Lent back in February. Say what you want - but I see little difference between that and a week of prayer (and fasting). It is a time of special focus on our spiritual lives - renewing and strengthening them. Many Episcopal (Lutheran, etc.) churches have mid-week meetings during Lent very similar to the old traditional Adventist week of prayer meetings.

Palm Sunday - last week - we remembered not only Jesus’ triumphal entry, but the fact that he did not make himself a king and was quickly rejected. Even some of his disciples denied him.

“Maundy Thursday” - we gathered around a large table in the fellowship hall for a simple supper of lentil soup, pita bread, and cheese. Nothing else. No dessert. This was followed by the service of foot washing during which almost everyone participated. (It was not segregated by gender.) Then we silently walked into the sanctuary and the communion service followed - remembering the night of the “last supper”.

Today, Good Friday, we gathered again at noon - entering the sanctuary in silence. No prelude music. No talking/greeting. Many knelt in prayer. Then we read from the scriptures again about Christ’s sacrifice. Interspersed were 6 congregational hymns. After the last hymn we left in total silence, and some people remained to pray. I was so moved that I was too chocked up to sing along on the hymns.

Saturday evening the church will gather again to remember how Jesus rested in the tomb over the Sabbath day!

I, too, fail to understand why Adventists have largely ignored this as it is centered on Scripture.

Tomorrow morning (Sabbath) the Adventist church where I am the organist will have a large Easter pageant. It will have spent no time remembering why we have Easter. Nothing will happen there on Sunday morning to celebrate the day Christ rose from the dead. There will be no opportunity for reflection, to consider the solemn events that led up to the resurrection day.

Adventists miss so much because the church usually seems to throw out all the good of Lent and “Holy Week”, labeling it Roman Catholic.

That you, Dr. Pearson, for so beautifully reminding us the beautiful observances we too often miss.


(Peter) #8

George, thank you for the beautiful explanation. I’m sad to say that I personally doubt that Adventists, at least in North America, think much about the true meaning of Easter during “Holy Week”. And I’ve seen little evidence that we remember the Great Disappointment, generally. Nor do I see it as any substitute for remembering Christ’s death and resurrection. In the 21st century, many middle aged and young adult Adventists cannot even explain to you exactly what the Great Disappointment was. There is no substitute for remembering the essential elements of our faith - Christ Has Died, Christ Has Risen, Christ Will Come Again.


(Sirje) #9

Of course the whole exercise of Easter is simply symbolic, instituted by - yes - Constantine, which sends up red flags for SDA’s.

As we know, ,Passover and Easter were originally at the same time, but Constantine decided that was too “Jewish” and designated a separation of the two, Easter became the ultimate Sunday. Passover is calculated by the Jewish calendar and Easter is not. The purist among us, can’t bring themselves to go all out about Easter because is seems to validate the Sabbath/Sunday issue. Of course, today the Sabbath is also calculated by the Roman calendar so it’s much ado about nothing. Either we calculate Sabbath by the original Hebrew calendar and disregard the Roman Easter; or we mix it all up, as we do, and keep the Sabbath based on the Roman calendar and try to give a nod to Easter; or none of it matters.


(Chris) #10

While living in South Korea, I visited an English-speaking church at the Serviceman’s center in Seoul. The South African pastor didn’t have an Easter message at all during Easter weekend. I was very disappointed. I was hoping for a nice Easter service and I didn’t get it. I had hoped for that while I was living in a primarily Buddhist country. The center has since moved to a different location and the pastor has moved to another country.


(George Tichy) #11

Just curious, where in South America?


#13

Most sermons presented do not inspire or promote hope. The theme of most sermons are that people are not ready for translation or resurrection.

How can one have hope?

Hope is the result of…
"and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Rom 5:1234:

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. ACTS 24:16

How can one have hope in being resurrected, based on Jesus’ resurrection, without having a personal experience of “walking in newness of life”? Rom 6:4
Salvation=mind makeover, decriminalization, sin eradication, character transformation, trust healing. Rom 12:2


(George Davidovich) #14

Peter
I completely agree, I was just adding (not very well) to the author’s comments on the second from last paragraph.


(George Davidovich) #15

Hello George T:
Our family is from Buenos Aires but my dad, after his first years pastoring local churches started with Arturo Utz (President) the Missión Patagónica where he served building parochial schools. He did the same thing later for five years in the Chilean Patagonia, before going to Perú to work with what was then called OFASA (now ADRA). I also studied in CAP, closed to where you studied in Brazil.


(George Tichy) #16

Hi George D:
Hmmm, CAP? I wonder where that was. I studied at the CAB in São Paulo, later on named IAE, and now UNASP.
I remember GAP (Paraná), GAC (Campinas), IPE (Petrópolis), but can recall CAP. Help me out please.


(George Davidovich) #17

Colegio Adventista del Plata, later renamed UAP in Entre Rios, Argentina


(George Tichy) #18

OK, I was confused with the word, “close”… LOL


(Brad(Luna)) #19

It’s also important to note that Easter as a celebration for the early Christians was established fairly early on. Our first evidence is a sermon by Melito of Sardis in the mid 2nd century, where he mentions it as a well established tradition.


(Tim Teichman) #20

Makes sense. The belief in the death and resurrection quickly became a primary focus of Christianity and historically is likely the key to its success, as it was a familiar theme in the ancient Roman culture.


(Brad(Luna)) #21

Roman society was typically pretty depressing when it came to death, and Greek society really demeaned the idea of a bodily resurrection. Interestingly enough, one of the reasons why it succeeded, according to experts such as Rodney Stark and David Bentley Hart, was that it simply worked better at caring for others. The Romans had no organization to care for the poor or sick and typically didn’t honor them. The church on the other hand, was known for its care for the poor, its healthcare for the sick and their general overall longevity(when not under threat of martrydom)


(efcee) #22

I’ve been to plenty of congregations who acknowledge Passover and celebrate the Resurrection on the weekend of the traditional Easter celebration, but the use of the word “Easter” has typically been avoided due to the word-origin failing to describe the nature or significance of the event. Some Christians who are familiar with the resurrection myth of Tammuz and Inanna (a.k.a. Ishtar/Easter) are naturally sensitive to the equation (or combining) of that myth with what they believe to be the truth of the resurrection of Jesus.


(Carolyn Wesner) #23

With you here, Steve. The services at our small Episcopal church numbered four: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday! Not. One. Word. was mentioned at my Adventist church, so I said afterwards at potluck, “you know, other Christians in this town think that Adventists don’t believe in the resurrection” which is true. “Of course we do”, l was told, but the Sabbath is more important, in these last days when it will be the TEST. Heavy sigh…


(George Tichy) #24

Oh my… talk about a cultist mentality!..

I can be an Adventist because I live in Southern California (La Sierra, in Riverside, close to LSU). Most churches in this area, if not all, have special program on Easter, celebrating it during the four day cycle.

I am sure I couldn’t attend an SDA church in many other regions of the USA.


#25

Is that not the crux of the 3 angels message that Adventists claim as their own?


(Andreas Bochmann) #26

Even language can give things away. Easter Sabbath actually is the Sabbath following Easter Sunday. The Sabbath before Easter Sunday is still part of Holy Week. And indeed the Allelujas that Mike mention are silenced during lent - until Easter Sunday. But yes, we are scared as Adventists of any celebrations outside Sabbath and are losing quite important parts of the everlasting gospel.
However, I am glad to be able to report that a good number of Adventist churches in Germany do have events around Holy Week and Easter - with communion services on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, and often time an Easter night - from Saturday evening to Sunday morning. And participants usually report great blessings when they return from holistically immersing into celebrations of this central feast of Christianity.


(George Tichy) #27

And I can also say ,

I am glad to be able to report that a good number of Adventist churches in Souther California do have events around Holy Week and Easter.*

Great programs, with solid focus on Christ’s sacrifice, rest, and resurrection.
I think the younger generations will do much better, because they seem to be less biased and more open to spiritual reality.

*Andreas, I know, my statement is almost a plagiarism… But we are all adventists here, so… who cares about plagiarism… :upside_down_face::upside_down_face: