Wednesday 26 March 2014

Christian Reflection on Easter

The latest issue of Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, is now available, this one devoted to ‘Easter’. The whole issue is available as a pdf here, and an accompanying Study Guide is available here. The main articles, with their abstracts, are as follows:

Robert B. Kruschwitz
How should the Church’s second cycle of preparation, celebration, and rejoicing – Lent, Easter, and Pentecost – mold our discipleship? Christ’s resurrection changes everything. We explore the feast of Easter and the season of Eastertide so we can celebrate them faithfully and winsomely today.

Mark D. Roberts
Celebrating Easter for Fifty Days
There is no scriptural requirement for us to celebrate Easter for fifty days, or even one day, for that matter. But there is also nothing in the Bible that would prohibit joyful remembrance of the resurrection for any length of time. In fact, there is much to commend the practice of celebrating Eastertide.

Michael P. Foley
The Paschal Triduum
The Paschal Triduum, the last three days of Holy Week, originally was geared towards catechumens, those being initiated into the faith on Holy Saturday night. But the customs of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday continue to hold great significance for the Church as a whole.

Keith L. Johnson
“He Descended into Hell”
In the Apostle’s Creed we affirm that Jesus Christ “descended into hell.” Exactly what and where is this hell to which he descended? Why did he have to go there? What did he do when he arrived in hell? And why are his descent and our confession of it central to our faith?

Robert B. Kruschwitz
Raised to Walk in Newness of Life
Christ’s resurrection guides us into “newness of life,” which is life here and now, but with a new, eschatological dimension. We examine everything we feel, think, and do from a new perspective that takes our present bodies, our resurrectional bodies, and Christ’s body (which is the Church) ever more seriously.

Milton Brasher-Cunningham
On Beyond Easter
The power of Christ’s resurrection is realized most, not in our building of monuments or institutions, but in the breaking of the bread, the quotidian collecting of those whom we love around a table that nourishes us all, and praying God would give us new eyes to see those who belong alongside us.

Bill J. Leonard
The “Real Presence” in Footwashing
I have never participated in a footwashing service that did not transcend the moment. Somehow I always forget how overpowering an event it can be. The sheer vulnerability of it carries participants beyond its anticipated logistical awkwardness to a palpable expression of servanthood.

Mark McClintock
Between Easter Eggs and the Empty Tomb
The best outcome of crafting Easter worship with children in mind is that everyone in the congregation may hear the Easter story in a new way. For adults steeped in church tradition, the opportunity to regain a childlike wonder at the miraculous life, death, and new life of Jesus is good news indeed.

Arthur Boers
Christ’s Last Words from the Cross
Though the Seven Words practice constructs a coherent plot that none of the Gospel writers intended, it has proven rich for Christians these last centuries. The Seven Last Words of Christ, like the Lord’s Prayer, ably condense and collapse into one set of short passages the essentials of our faith.

Cameron Jorgenson
Charting the Christian Hope
The authors of three recent books reviewed here agree that if Christians (and Jews) lose their understanding of the resurrection, then they will lose the central conviction that gives shape to the hope they proclaim, and they will lose sight of the God in whom they have trusted.

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