Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Thoughts

I have just returned from church is Easter Morning. As I sit enjoying my Americano with cream and sugar for the first time in 40 days, my thoughts are of Christianity and Faith and the Church.

As I drove home from the Easter service this morning, my radio was tuned to NPR. They were playing an interview with Jaroslav Pelikan about Creeds, the orgin, the need, and the faith behind them. ( if you are intersted) I was intrigued. I grew up in evangelical churches and really didn't know or understand what a creed was until college. I attended a Presbyterian college and began to learn some of the more liturgical styles of worship as well as the history behind them. Honestly, the first Creed I thought much about was from Rich Mullins' song Creed that came out in the 90's. From that song I began learning a little more about creeds and catachisms--the history of them and the tradition of them. And I really began to embrace them for myself.

My sophomore year of college I began preparing for a summer in Russia. One thing we had to do with the group going was to attend a service at the Eastern Orthodox church nearby. It was a facinating morning as a former Baptist talked to us about what had happened during the service as well as the traditions of the church. I had a new found knowledge and respect for the Orthodox church. (Thanks Kim!)

Until a few years ago I had no idea what lent was about. I read a book that inspired me to learn a bit more and observe it that year. This year is only the second time I have observed the Lenton season. I personally gave up coffee (Naomi, I have thought of you often this year!). Not for the caffine or because I had to have it every day, but because it was something that I do just for me and that I would truly miss nearly every day. It was surprisingly harder to deny myself this time. But I tried to remind myself of Jesus' sacrifice each time I was tempted to drink it. I also read scripture as listed from the Book of Common Prayer's Lenton readings. This was a great habit of scripture reading to adopt. And one I am hoping to continue. This is not to brag, but to explain some of my spiritual journey.

One's spiritual journey looks very different from another's and I know that mine is quite unique. I haven't always appreciated other Christian styles of worship or even understood them. But as I have experienced many churches, styles, and traditions it has given me a greater appreciation for their differences and similarities. I want to always focus on the beliefs we all have in common and not the petty difference or service styles. I remember the feeling of holiness and consistancy that comes from a laturgical service and can enjoy and appreciate that. But I also appreciate the excitement and relativity of the modern church I attend currently

So these are my Easter thoughts of my personal spiritual journey. Where has your journey taken you?


Anonymous said...

Hello Carrie,

Speaking of spiritual journey's, I have to agree. I recently have been facinated with Christian Church History and Early Church Doctrine. It is amazing to me our history as Christ's Church and how we got to where we are today, Doctrine's, Creeds et al. As Christ's Church we need to be spending more time on what we have in common "Christ" and less time on our differences. The more I study the more that I respect the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic. As an Evangelical I think that we sell ourselves short by leaving off the teaching of our history, which means that we are doomed to repeat it. Thanks for the thoughts.


Friar Tuck said...

I have grown in my appreciation of liturgy and especially the Christian year over time too.

Especially between say November and may

van said...

some of what you label as "petty" differences are actually very critical... contraception? 1 church as spoken out against it from the beginning... this is far from petty as it affects the trust a couple has in God and an understanding of nature. Contraception has been shown to perform abortions, specifically in reference to the pill. Contraception is but one difference but its huge in our life and in fact will be shown to be the root in adultery, fornication, abortion, homosexuality, poverty, divorce, prostitution and pornography. take care to follow those churches that pick and choose doctrine and not the whole truth.