11 April 2009

Pascha

Anticipation fits children better than 'senior citizens.' My granddaughter has asked me every day for weeks "Is tomorrow Easter?" Finally, it is nearly here! As I type, the Great Vigil is less than two hours away. And then the cry “He IS Risen” will resound.

Of course, Jamie is more concerned with baskets and candy and dolls and seeing her cousins. But four is not an age to do theology. She does know about waiting, about impatience and about anticipation. Finally it is time! She has been waiting ever since Valentine's day.

In a real sense all of creation waited for this night. Anticipation was the story of human kind for the entire history of the world until Pasha finally came.

And yet, somehow we who know the story, know that He is risen indeed have lost the excitement. We not only do not anticipate the coming of the celebration, we do not anticipate the redemption of the whole of creation. Either we fall into the trap or Anslem and Augustine, announcing forgiveness instead of reclamation or like the secularists we simply do not care.

So here we are mere hours before the bells ring, the lights glow and the proclamation sounds. Are we excited? Are we prepared to announce that the kingdom has come and the world must become better to receive it? Do we await the gifts and begin the sharing or do we simply smile at children, and go on as before?

If this night means anything at all, going on as before is wrong. Making the world a renewed, reclaimed and worthy place is what we are called to do.

Anticipate and then act! That is our calling.

Happy and blessed Pascha!

6 comments:

dj said...

Hi Jim,

From Wikipedia: "Pasha or pacha, formerly bashaw, (Turkish: pa┼ča [1]) was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, "Pasha", in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of "Lord"."

I think that the word you are looking for is either the Greek Pascha or one of the variants of the Hebrew Pesach.

Cheers,
dj

Jim said...

Ooops, I hate spell checkers. This is fixed now.

Thanks dj.

dj said...

OK... That one's resolved... Now all we gotta do is work on the date... ; )

Kalo Pasxa
dj

Jim said...

LOL! Well as my brother and his family are Greek Orthodox, I have no issue here. And I am sure Jamie wont mind more Easter bunny. I have to be careful though, if I tell her it is still coming and she starts counting days to another holiday her mom may learn to shoot just so she can take me out.

FWIW
jimB

David Handy+ said...

Jim,

This is just to let you know that I visited your blog after you sent me the link. I salute you for having the courage to put your thoughts out there for all the world to see.

As for the Paschal Vigil, it's my favorite service of the whole year. I just introduced it to the AMiA church where I currently worship in Newport News, VA. It was a glorious three hour service, and it was a hit with most of the parishioners, many of whom had never experienced an Easter Vigil before. As our church sadly has no deacon, I got to chant the marvelous ancient Exultet, my favorite chant of the year.

Unfortunately, I smoked the place up with so much incense that the smoke alarms went off! Hilarious (we disconnected the alarms quickly). And many in the congregation remembered to bring bells or windchimes from home, as I'd urged them to do, and we must have had bells joyously ringing for five minutes as we sang the first resurrection hymn after the OT readings were done. What fun!!

Jim said...

Thanks for dropping by. I agree completely, it is easily the most wonderful service of the year. For some reason (I dunno why) our deacons turn the Exultet over to the choir. The gentleman who does it is OK.

It is an interesting experience publishing this sort of blog. I get as you may have noticed, a relatively few comments, I have been known to joke that both of my readers agree with me :-). But, I have some fun doing it and the process forces me to actually think about the things I write which can only be a good thing.

Drop by any time. If you decide you want to start blogging, I will be happy to help you get started.

FWIW
jimB

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