Tuesday 7 April 2015

All of life is Easter: three quotes on Christian feast days

"All our life is a festival. Since we are persuaded that God is present everywhere on all sides, we praise God as we till the ground, we sing hymns as we sail the sea, we feel God's inspiration in all that we do.... Whenever we pay attention to God, every place and every time becomes truly holy."
—Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7.7.39.

"So the whole of our lifetime is a festival. For when Paul said, 'Let us keep the feast' [1 Cor 5:7-8], he wasn't referring to the Passover or Pentecost. He was pointing out that all time is a festival for Christians.... For what good thing has not already come to pass? The Son of God was made human for you. He freed you from death and called you to a kingdom. Now that you have gained such good things – and are still gaining them – how can you do anything less than 'keep the feast' all your life? So let no one be downcast about poverty or illness or the cunning of enemies. It is a festival, all of it – our whole lifetime!"
—John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Corinthians 15.6.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many suns to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we miss:
There is but one, and that one ever.
—George Herbert, "Easter", from The Temple.


Unknown said...

So this does make me wonder why all year is not 'Easter Season.' What is the logic behind Lent, Ordinary Time, etc. Of course, not that anything will change, but you know, sometimes you don't feel like it at official Lent, but do at other times of the year.

Ben Myers said...

In his Festal Letters, Athanasius gives various rationales for why Christians keep the feasts (given that Christ has turned the whole world into a festival). One of the main reasons, in Athanasius' view, is that we keep the feasts as a remedy for our own sloth and forgetfulness. It would be better if we could remember God every day and at every moment. But, failing that, we use a calendar to remind us of God.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ben, that makes good sense.

Anonymous said...

I like the thought of this. Jesus rising from the dead should be something that Christians celebrity on a daily basis. That is why I'm a big supporter of communion being a common thing practiced at modern churches

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