Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!!

Ah, I love that responsory :o).

The service was very nice, although the weather did not cooperate completely, so we didn’t have much of a sunrise. Still, the air was cool and crisp, there were a lot of people together to worship, the birds were calling each other, the woodpeckers were pecking away… a great start to the day. Which is why I’ll be going to sleep in a few minutes :oP. The only thing that was missing was a nice big organ to accompany the hymns. Ah well – I’ll live.

There were some readings from the Gospels on the resurrection, particularly the reactions of the disciples. We had a little time to reflect on each passage, which was nice. One of the student leaders said something interesting “Has it [the Resurrection] changed you? Does it affect the way you live?”

This question stuck out to me as someone who was raised Christian; it’s pretty hard to figure out how something has affected you if it’s been with you always. Obviously, I would be a totally different person if my parents didn’t raise me Christian, but beyond that, it’s difficult to say what my knowledge of the Resurrection does for me. My understanding has certainly increased over time, because I’ve studied the Easter story again and again, but I still don’t know the answer to the question.

The Resurrection is the hardest thing for many modern Christians to accept, simply because it’s an event that is so fantastical. Jesus, fully Man and fully God, gave up his human life on Good Friday, defeated sin and death, and was reborn into his godly life with the Resurrection and the Ascension. I know I, as a fairly rational minded person, find the miracle hard to accept. My initial reactions are along the lines of Thomas. I doubt not because I do not think that He has returned, but because I find the concept of resurrection inexplicable. It is a perfect example of having to give up the rational analysis of an event and pass it over to your faith.

Happy Easter! Enjoy your services, easter egg hunts, or anything else that you might do today. :o)

Christ is Risen!!!

And now for some geeky trivia, since no post to my LJ would be without: Easter comes from the Old English éastre, cognate with Old High German ôstara. Note that the first transforms into Modern English easter through regular sound change… gotta love historical-comparative linguistics! One possible derivation is that Éastre was the name of a goddess whose festival was celebrated at the vernal equinox, and was thus associated with spring, rebirth, and fertility. Given that her name contains east, and probably derives from the same Proto-Indo-European root as east, she was presumably some sort of dawn goddess.

Some also attribute the word as being derived from the Latin oestrus, meaning wild desire or frenzy. The term is now used to refer to the peak of the mating cycle of female mammals (hence estrogen). Since it is associated with fertility, it is possible that this word was applied to the holiday because of the onset of Spring. However, I’m inclined to go with the first derivation, largely because English is one of the few IE languages that uses the term; most of the others use their word for Passover (e.g. Spanish pascua) to refer to both holidays, since they always happen during the same week. It seems unlikely that English would adopt a loan word from Latin that is not present in any of the Romance languages; this implies that there was a uniquely Germanic word that gave rise to the term Easter.

5 comments on “Christ is Risen!
  1. god_of_belac says:

    Re: The theology of the ascension. I’d be interested in hearing your further thoughts some other time. Livejournal isn’t the place for religious discussion–I wrote a long response to your post before deciding that it was too likely to offend people in general (It started from the position that no part of Christian doctrine really makes sense without religious faith anyhow), but I like hearing how theology works from the inside in major religions.

  2. sammka says:

    Actually, the mysteries were always my favorite part of theology. I was raised Catholic so maybe we approached things differently. My problem was always just believing in God in the first place, and other than that, I was perfectly happy with the more incomprehensible things like the resurrection or the fact that Christ was both God and Man, or the virgin birth, all of which (I think- I’m not sure) we Catholics called “mysteries” and thought were important precisely because they’re hard to understand.

  3. Nicolas Ward says:

    If you still have the text you wrote, you should save it for when the theology list gets set up.

  4. flammifera says:

    it’s pretty hard to figure out how something has affected you if it’s been with you always.

    I definitely know what you mean about this — it’s a large part of the reason why I’ve always struggled with assurance of my faith, because there’s no point in my life I can look back on and realize that I’m different now, as far as spiritual interest/belief goes.

Nurd Up!