Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Opposite of Fasting

N. T. Wright, the bishop of Durhum, notes in his book, Surprised by Hope, that he experiences a let down after Easter. Mostly he says, this let down occurs because after spending forty days observing Lent by fasting, practicing self-denial, and not a little gloom, the single day of celebrating the resurrection seems to be a little anti-climatic. Doesn’t the resurrection deserve more than that? He suggest an eight day celebration in which we all take off work and every day begins with “champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems.”

Sounds great to me, although, I know most of us can’t take off for eight days of celebrating. Wright makes one more suggestion, however, that not only is more doable, I think it’s downright genius. He suggests that we should balance out “giving something up” for Lent with an equal observance of “taking something up” for Easter. That is we ought to follow up Easter Sunday with a forty day period (up to the Day of Ascension) of “taking something up, some new task or venture, something wholesome and fruitful and outgoing and self-giving.” Whereas giving something up for Lent reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ, taking something up for Easter reminds us of the new life we’ve been given through Christ’s resurrection.

You could write a poem a day for the next six weeks or finally go out and buy that guitar and start to practice. You could pull out all your old art supplies and get at it once more. Maybe pick up some foreign language software and start learning another tongue. Grab a friend or a friend’s kid and invite them to help you build that tree-house you’ve always thought of building in that glorious oak out back. Whatever you choose to take up, let it stretch you into new areas of life, community, and possibilities. Let it remind you that the great promise of the resurrection is that in Christ we have indeed been made new!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:. The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17


Paul Soupiset said...

Great blogpost!

Patrick said...

I love it!

Terry said...

Good blog Taylor. Proper "due" as Alister M. would say, isn't mercinary, but proper I think CSL said somewhere. Would be a good exercize to remind us that in a very healthy way we believers are indeed waiting for our due (because God designed it that way and realized it on the cross) reward of "life", true deep everalsting wonderul love life, after death. A deep truth in there, to live one must die and a good idea to remind ourselves to keep our eye on the reward by being sure to live some of that life today! What a great thing the Gospel is!

Terry said...

Also Taylor I am going to add that I am going to take this advice literally and after coming home from three weeks of a type of lent in Bolivia, being away from family etc. I am going to purposely remind myself of the good reward waiting us all by some holy rounds of GOLF!