Easter Resources – Presbyterian Pastor Mark D. Roberts: What is “Eastertide?” series

April 20, 2015

Digging through some old drafts of Easter posts prepared in years past, but never finalized and published, I came across some entries by Presbyterian pastor Mark D. Roberts.  He’s one of those non-Anglicans who “gets” the importance of the liturgical seasons and the rhythms of the church year, and I have often posted his resources.  So… several prayers & quotes by Mark D. Roberts will be appearing on the blog this week.  Let me start first by posting links to his series on celebrating the full 50 Days of Easter, since that’s a theme near and dear to my heart.

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As we all know, even for those of us from liturgical churches, it is very tempting to celebrate Easter for only one day, or one week, and very challenging to remember and practice the celebration of Easter for the full 50 Day Season of “Eastertide.”

Back in 2011 – 2012, Presbyterian pastor and blogger Mark D. Roberts wrote a series examining the tradition of the 50 Day Eastertide season, and giving some practical ideas and encouragement for how to celebrate Easter for more than just a few days.  Here are the links to his Eastertide series.  Below are exceprts from several of the entries.

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Easter Isn’t Over Yet – An Introduction to Eastertide

During my first year as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, I was finally introduced to a Christian community that stretched the celebration of Easter beyond just a day. Our worship director at the time, Loren Wiebe, explained to me that he took Eastertide quite seriously. This meant, for example, that we’d sing Easter hymns, not only on Easter Sunday itself, but also during worship services in the following weeks. I was ready to experiment with all of this, though I must confess it felt rather strange to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday. (“Christ the Lord is Risen Two Weeks Ago” didn’t work either.) Moreover, the word “Eastertide” sounded strange to me, like some remnant of days gone by. … Slowly, over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate celebrating Easter for more than just a single Sunday.

… I want to write about how we might let [Eastertide] be a time of spiritual growth, a season of deeper intimacy with God. I’ve come to believe that, in many ways, Easter gets short shrift in our churches. As a result, we miss out on some of the richness and joy of a full Easter celebration.

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Fifty Days of Easter! What Would We Do?

Celebrating Easter for fifty days is not duplicating Easter Sunday fifty times over, either. Rather, it’s taking time to reflect upon and delight in the truth of Easter and its implications for our lives.

The basic truth of Easter is simple. In the classic litany of the church, it’s this: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! On Easter Sunday, we celebrate this good news, rediscovering for ourselves what the earliest followers of Jesus realized on that first Easter Sunday. Yet the implications of the resurrection are more than we can adequately ponder on one day. Every year, during my sixteen-year pastoral tenure at Irvine Presbyterian Church, when I prepared my Easter sermon, I left dozens of life-changing truths on the cutting room floor. There’s no way I could begin to probe the depths of Easter in a mere 20 minutes. So, I proclaimed the basic truth of the resurrection and explained one or perhaps two implications.

Eastertide provides an opportunity to see “the director’s cut” of the Easter sermon, if you will. The season of Easter gives us a chance to reflect more broadly and deeply on the multifaceted meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.

What might this involve? Let me suggest a few ideas:

• You could meditate upon what the resurrection says about the character of Jesus Christ as the Righteous One of God (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-28).

• You might ponder the fact that death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).

• You could reflect upon the fact that the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you today (Ephesians 1:15-23).

• You might think of how the resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).

• You could consider how the resurrection gives us “new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

And so on. And so on. Eastertide allows us to think deeply and to pray broadly about what the resurrection of Jesus means, both to us and to our world.

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Read the rest of this entry »

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Easter Quotes – The Practice of Resurrection (Eugene Peterson)

April 16, 2015

Practice-of-Resurrection

Graphic and quote from: Embrace the God Life

This is a wonderful quote to help us DELIBERATELY continue celebrating Jesus’ resurrection during the 50 days of Eastertide and beyond:

The practice of resurrection is an intentional, deliberate decision to believe and participate in resurrection life, life out of death, life that trumps death, life that is the last word, Jesus life.

-Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection

I’ve been reflecting the past 24 hours or so once again on what it means to “Practice Resurrection” – those famous words from Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front which happen to make an excellent slogan for those of us wanting to celebrate the full 50 days of Eastertide.  I find Eugene Peterson’s words above timely and helpful because they specifically point us to Jesus.  “Practice Resurrection” can in some circles be watered down to “Celebrate Spring” “Be Creative” “Try Something New”  etc etc…  I hope those of us exhorting ourselves and others to “Practice Resurrection” this Eastertide will keep Jesus at the center of our celebration.  It’s not just some abstract idea of resurrection we’re celebrating, but Jesus Christ’s physical resurrection from the dead and the difference He makes for our lives and the world.

I hope to have some more thoughts about what that means and looks like in the coming days.  Stay tuned.  And DO keep practicing resurrection – choosing to deliberately unite yourself to Christ, counting yourself dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus (Rom 6:11), today and always…


Practice Resurrection 2015 – This Sacramental Life blog (and a roundup of other resources on the same theme)

April 15, 2015

 

photo credit: Emily Polis Gibson

photo credit: Emily Polis Gibson

OK, I’m really not sure how Tamara Hill Murphy’s blog This Sacramental Life has flown under my radar screen for so long.

By searching Twitter for posts on Eastertide, I came across a Tweet by Tamara with a link to her blog and her entry and exhortation to #PracticeResurrection2015.  It is truly MUST READING for anyone wanting encouragement to celebrate the full 50 days of the Easter Season. 

In reflecting on Wendell Berry’s phrase “practice resurrection” and a passage by NT Wright in Surprised by Hope, Tamara writes about her resolve to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection throughout the 50 days of Eastertide and encourages us to join her!

For the next six weeks (from now until Pentecost), will you join me in feasting on Resurrection goodness in our everyday lives?  It can be as simple as a special candle you use for your meals during Eastertide or as elaborate as travelling across the world to meet new people.  Whatever it is, will you show us a picture and tell us a few words?   Plant spring flowers (maybe a new variety this year)?  Show us! Get up to see the sun rise on a Sunday morning?  Tell us about it! Take a new route to work (maybe taking more time than necessary in honor of the mad farmer)?  Share it!

Three steps to play along:

  1. Add something to your day that helps you practice resurrection. (one day or fifty days doesn’t matter)

  2. Take a picture and write a description in 1-50 words.

  3. Share it with me via an email, Facebook or hashtag it on Twitter or Instagram #practiceresurrection2015.  I’ll share some of your photo-stories with everyone here each week.

Also check out her Easter 2015 daybook posts.

UPDATE:   I’ve just discovered:  Tamara is a contributor to an excellent EASTERTIDE Devotional produced by Christ Church Austin.  I’m so excited to find this.  You can read it online, or download a PDF version.

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In case it’s helpful, here’ are links to some other blog entries & resources we’ve linked in the past that focus on this same theme:

Tara at Story Formed blog:

Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary Blog:

Emily Polis Gibson at Barnstorming

Christine Sine at Godspace:

WAU.org Resource Guide for Celebrating Easter’s 50 Days

And for various entries I just discovered this year and posted in our Eastertide Resources Compilation


Easter Quotes: Ann Voskamp – Dead Bodies Walking

April 10, 2015

This is an entry I found shortly after completing my 2015 Eastertide resources compilation yesterday.  It fits right in with the theme of living out Easter in our daily lives, not merely celebrating for one weekend…:

 

Could Easter become not just weekend but a whole long season of celebrating — a season of His signs?

Could Easter become not just weekend but a way of living — how Christ-followers live on this side of the tomb right echo empty?

Could Easter become what we courageously witness everywhere in the world, the hope of Christ, the signs of a new Kingdom here — because when dead bodies walk, who can not talk?

– from Ann Voskamp’s 2011 blog entry “What if more than celebrating Easter- we lived it?

(Go read the whole entry!)


A compilation of Easter Quotes we’ve posted since 2009

April 9, 2015

Last update: 9 April 2015

easter-wordartWell we have compilations of Easter prayers, Easter poems, Easter music, Eastertide resource links…, but up until now, I’ve not pulled together a compilation of all the Easter-themed quotations we’ve posted at the blog over the years.  There are more than I remembered, and many are really good and worth browsing  (if we do say so ourselves…!)  So, it’s time to list all our Easter Quotes entries in one place.

Entries are in chronological order, most recent first.  I’ll try to update this periodically throughout the Easter 2015 season.

(art credit)

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2015 entries:

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2014 entries:

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2012 Entries:

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2009 Entries:

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Note: You might also want to browse our Lent Quotes and Holy Week Quotes, as many of those contain Easter themes.


A Compilation of Eastertide links and resources – celebrating the full 50 days of the Easter Season

April 9, 2015

UPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post is sticky – look below for new entries

This year more than ever, I feel an urgency to continue to celebrate Easter throughout the entire 50 day Easter Season (traditionally known as “Eastertide” in Anglican circles).  Perhaps it is the bleakness of the world, and the awareness of evil (such as recent terrorist killings of Christians in Kenya and Libya…) that makes me want to cling to the joy of the Lord’s resurrection and meditate on the glorious truth of His victory in a more focused way this year.  Continuing to reflect on His resurrection power also helps remind me that His power is at work in my heart to conquer sin.  Finally, I find myself wanting to continue to strengthen some of the spiritual disciplines started in Lent in terms of time spent in Scripture, taking advantage of this 50 day season to walk with Jesus and fellowship with Him, allowing Him to expound the Scriptures and stir up my heart so it burns with more a passion for Him.  With these goals in mind, I offer the following list of some articles, reflections resources, prayers, music all focused on helping us maintain an Easter-focus during the 50 days of Eastertide. 

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NEW (April 19) – DON’T MISS THISA Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns.  Note, there is now a separate Easter Hymns category, since we plan to post a lot more Easter hymns in coming days!

NEW UDPATE! – (April 15): I’ve just posted about a great blog and a new Eastertide devotional resource on the theme Practice Resurrection 2015.  This post also includes a short list of some of the links in our Eastertide compilation (specifically links to reflections on practicing resurrection / celebrating Eastertide).

Let me link the blog and devotional separately:

The blog: This Sacramental Life by Tamara Hill Murphy.  See especially #practiceresurrection2015 – who wants to join me? and her Easter Daybook entries

The devotional:  Eastertide Devotional 2015 from Christ Church Austin (pdf version here)

And you can follow along on Twitter using #practiceresurrection or #practiceresurrection2015

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First, some of my favorite resources, links and entries from years’ past:

Keep reading below – there are nearly 50 additional links!

Read the rest of this entry »


Easter Season Playlist – Contemporary Worship Songs

April 9, 2015

Back in 2009, my teammates and I put together songsheets for the Easter season.  These sheets included a mix of classic hymns as well as some contemporary worship songs.  Some of the contemporary songs and choruses we included were:

  • – Agnus Dei
  • – Celebrate Jesus, Celebrate
  • – Easter Song [Hear the Bells Ringing]
  • – How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
  • – I Know He Rescued My Soul [My Redeemer Lives]
  • – In Christ Alone
  • – Jesus Christ, I think Upon Your Sacrifice [Once Again]
  • – Led like a Lamb to the Slaughter [You’re alive, You’re alive, You have Risen]
  • – O to see the Dawn of the Darkest Day [The Power of the Cross],
  • – See What a Morning [Resurrection Hymn]
  • – Thank You for the Cross Lord [Worthy is the Lamb]
  • – The Greatest Day in History [O Happy Day]
  • – The Splendor of a King [How Great is Our God]
  • – You Chose the Cross [Lost in Wonder]

Not a bad list of songs!  I was amazed however this Easter, how many great new songs have been written in the past 5 – 6 years or so.  We needed to come up with a new set of song sheets.  Here are some of the songs we added and have been singing (links take to We Are Worship, Worship Together or Song Select for info about purchase, lyrics, etc.):

And here are 25 more great contemporary Easter-themed worship songs that have 5 stars in my playlist

  • Ben Cantelon – The Same Power
  • Bryan & Katie Torwalt – It Was Finished
  • Chris Tomlin – Once and For All
  • Darlene Zschech – Victor’s Crown
  • Elevation Worship – Raised to Life
  • Graham Kendrick – This Joyful Eastertide
  • Graham Kendrick – I  Know He Lives
  • Glen Packiam – Forgiven Forever
  • Hillsong – Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise)
  • Israel & New Breed – Risen
  • Israel & New Breed – Rez Power
  • Kari Jobe – Forever
  • Keith & Kristyn Getty – Come People of the Risen King
  • Kristian Stanfill – Shout Hosanna
  • Lacey Sturm – Mercy Tree
  • Laura Story – What a Savior
  • Lincoln Brewster – Shout for Joy
  • Matt Redman – Love So High
  • Matt Redman – Jesus Only Jesus
  • Michael Olson – On the Third Day
  • Michael W. Smith – All Arise
  • Newsboys – God’s Not Dead
  • Phil Wickham – The Victory
  • Soul Survivor – He is Alive
  • Sovereign Grace Music – Jesus Lives
  • Todd Agnew, God Undefeatable

You can find good lists of songs for Easter at these sites:  WorshipTogether, and SongSelect


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