I've been too busy with work to even think about personal blogging lately and I feel like I have quite a backlog of writing built up. However I don't want to let the passing of Michael Spencer (aka The Internet Monk) go completely without notice in this space.
Michael died after a short battle with cancer and over the last few months as his friends have have maintained his blog I've dreaded seeing an unread story from internetmonk.com pop up in my news-reader; knowing and expecting that it would be the announcement of his death.
I didn't always agree with IMonk's articles but his generous spirit, concern for the gospel, desire for a Jesus-shaped life, and willingness to identify bullshit as such made me an avid reader of his over the last few years. The silliness and shallowness rampant in the contemporary Evangelical Church cry out for an adult response (and perhaps occasionally a little adult language). IMonk frequently provided that adult perspective and challenged me to relate to the whole Church through time and across traditions.
InternetMonk.com is re-running classic columns right now and one struck a chord with my recent experiences through the Easter season. At Easter, the oldest Christian Holy-day, it seems appropriate to engage with the traditions of the Church. Even if it's not a usual part of the regular weekly service, Easter Sunday should feature rather more prayer, vigils, reading of Scripture, singing of the many great Easter hymns, proclamation of the Creeds and involvement in the rich liturgical heritage of the Church. Give us depth - one or two Sundays a year, we can handle it!
This classic IMonk column isn't about Easter - but it is about the value found in looking to the traditions of the Church catholic in how we should conduct our worship. I haven't had as much experience with liturgical services - but reading this makes me want to.
Today the Christian year is one of my passions. Advent, Lent, Holy Week, Epiphany, Trinity Sunday, Christ the King, Ascension, Annunciation, Holy Baptism–all of these days teach us the story of Jesus and preach the Gospel to us. Why would we want to neglect this great heritage? Why can’t all Christians see the value in the visual and artistic celebration of the Gospel that is made possible using the Christian year?
Thank you Michael for providing grist for many interesting conversations.
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His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' Matt 25:23