The Resurrection

5 Responses to The Resurrection

  1. I am writing this very late at night on Easter Sunday, about a service outside Trondheim, Norway, earlier today:

    Norway is getting more indifferent to religion, as you know, and very many people give priority to going to their winter cabins up the mountains at Easter, to go skiing where there is still plenty of snow, while it is melting away in the lowlands. Or they go to more organised skiing resorts. Some people who are religious do too – it is getting so Easter is first and foremost a holiday.

    The churches have done something I think quite wise: Many of them go where people are, and hold out-door services at Easter. And then quite a lot of people attend. They ski to where the service is.

    This year the Easter Morning transmission on TV was from such an out-door service. It may have been arranged especially for TV, though, because it was held in Bymarka (The City Forest-and-field area) just outside Trondheim, a congregation belonging to Trondheim city arranged it, and the gathering was fairly small – probably most of them from the congregation in town and a few skiers from town who were skiing in that area. (It is all cross country skiing, of course, no steep slalom tracks there, although you can see one youngster doing a fancy jump just when the service is about to start.) Bymarka is not a place where people have lots of cabins, and it is not a lot higher than sea level. This year, March has been unusually cold and we have had heaps of snow, so Bymarka was absolutely wintery still. But I doubt whether it is a place where they give out-door services every year.

    For the last week, it has been beautifully sunny in the whole of southern Norway, but north of Trondheim they have had such trouble: giant snowfalls, snow avalanches and roads cut in the two northernmost counties – up by the North Cape – and now that weather has travelled down towards Trondheim too. So my guess is that TV probably had one or two other outdoor services, somewhere else, lined up, which could be shown if Bymarka got quite impossibly snow-stormy. Or perhaps they had an indoor room in the building you see. However, the weather kept ok, as you see.

    https://tv.nrk.no/serie/paaskegudstjenester-2018/DMTL21340318/01-04-2018

    The program is announced on the tv company’s website to be viewable everywhere and without a time limit, so perhaps you will enjoy having a look at some of it. (It lasts for almost an hour.)

    The musicians are, as you can see, the Nidaros Brass Band. “Nidaros” is the ancient name of Trondheim and the district around it; nowadays, it is still “Nidaros” in the context of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, which divides the country a bit differently from the civil administration and has some of the older names for the bishoprics.

    They have made a cross out of branches from birch trees, and carry daffodils (their Norwegian name is “Easter lilies”). On the altar are also “goose children”, twigs from Salix caprea = “goat willow” (I don’t know if you have them) with light grey flowers; they carry flowers very early in spring and on bare twigs and branches, before they unfold their green foliage. Nevertheless, these flowers today are not flowering naturally out there in the snowy environment: they must have been cultivated indoors to make them bloom early.

    • Chris says:

      Thank you for this interesting peek into your culture, Marianne.

      “I am writing this very late at night on Easter Sunday, about a service outside Trondheim, Norway, earlier today:”

      And I am reading this late on Easter here in Arkansas. I was able to spend a few hours at home with my wife and grown young adult children (2) before returning to my Mom’s to try and prevent her from hurting herself. I don’t know how many times she has fallen. It is quite amazing that she has only had 1 trip to the hospital. She is sleeping as I write this so I am comfortable that she won’t be falling now. I follow her everywhere these days.
      So, to return here and see your lengthy comment is quite refreshing. All is quiet and still, just as it sounds it was when you wrote this.

      “Norway is getting more indifferent to religion, as you know, and very many people give priority to going to their winter cabins up the mountains at Easter, to go skiing where there is still plenty of snow, while it is melting away in the lowlands. ”

      When it comes to the Christian faith, things are changing in America as well. From what I know, I consider them much worse there and I am curious. Wasn’t it just last year that the State Church (Lutheran) actually disengaged in some form with the government? If I remember this correctly, how are these churches being funded these days? I’m pretty sure up until recently all pastors of the state church were paid by the government. Please correct me if I’m wrong, Marianne.
      I’ve always thought that if this was so that it could create a good deal of upheaval in the hearts and minds of the pastors. How does one go about speaking of human rights offenses caused by the government and not lose one’s comfortable position, financially and socially?
      Churches here are self supportive but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many negative changes. Essential issues in Protestant churches are under “assault” it seems and the social issues that seem so tied to the Sermon on the Mount continue to be of great concern.

      “Some people who are religious do too – it is getting so Easter is first and foremost a holiday.”

      The school break at this time of year is a week long and used to be called “Easter break” when I was a kid. Now, it’s “spring break.” America is still a very religious nation but it is growing more secular all of the time. It is becoming more like Norway this way.

      It sounds so beautiful there, like all the pictures of Norway I’ve seen. We have a long summer in Arkansas, wherreas you have a long winter, I think. There is never enough snow here to ski just to give you and idea of snow amounts. We might get a few inches a few times a year at the most in Central Arkansas.

      Thank you for the link. I will make an addition to this comment after I have watched it. Christians will find a way to worship God no matter where they are. I might be quite embarrassed if you I knew you were watching me in my car sometime.
      Out door services are always wonderful and I can imagine a snowy atmosphere would make them unique. Here, many Christian churches still have sunrise services. When I was a church youth director, the youth would, at times, lead the service and then serve a breakfast afterwards as one of the few fundraisers we did to help fund certain retreats to the mountains or the beaches.

      Your description of the service is very interesting to me. I’m going to try and view it now.

      Thank you again, Marianne, for sharing a bit of your world with me. Norway is a beautiful place with beautiful people.

      • Chris says:

        Easter Service at Trondheim…Impressions (2018)

        Please excuse me, Marianne, but I love to do running commentary as I watch things that I am unfamiliar with. (I think you already have read a few of these “through my eyes” commentaries.)

        Opens with the bell, a sound that so many have been called to church by in America as well over the years.

        The opening music is wonderful. It is “Holy, Holy, Holy” in English and one my favorite hymns as a child. That hasn’t changed.

        I thought the little ski jump was quite creative. God would like that I think.

        The setting is beautiful and the camera angles, even from above, are well chosen.

        Lots of brass and not amateurs either. They are very good.

        Really like the procession with the youth and the simple cross and the Easter lilies (daffodils) are a very nice touch. They signify “new life” to me as they are one of the first things up here in Arkansas and are very popular here as well. Fortunately, for me, the previous owner of the property that God has entrusted to me for the time being, liked daffodils and planted plenty of the variety that the young people here appear to be carrying.

        Very clever…attaching the symbols of new life to the humble cross.

        One thing I always enjoyed about growing up in a Lutheran Church was the singing. These people sound great for an outdoor venue.

        The vestments worn by the worship leaders are very familiar to me. I grew up with them and was even an acolyte who was obliged to sit in the front of the service and right next to the pastor much of the time.

        I don’t recognize song two but the people sure seen to. A catchy tune.

        A simple alter also used as a lectern, another nice touch. I don’t think I’ve been in a church with an alter for years.

        This is a Lutheran service no doubt. They must be similar in format throughout the world.

        Another new tune for me. I like the happy faces of the congregants. I’ve stood in front of more than one group of Lutherans who appeared not quite as happy.

        Good age range here.

        It is obvious that little concern went into making this a fancy event as there are not enough seats so that some are sitting on the snow. Who needs anything more when there are hearty souls with warm clothes who are very used to this sort of weather? I’m sure most are sitting on something separating them from the snow. I can see this place in the summer with people eating on the same picnic tables.

        Good camerawork by those recording the event. Very nice pictures and it is obvious that these folks probably a good amount of planning.

        No one looks cold.

        A song with alleluia. Another nice tune that I don’t recognize.

        A reading from Matthew, my favorite gospel.

        It is a very well behaved group.

        Wow. The four young ladies bring an energetic burst with their work of art in A cappella.
        I appreciate it that the cameras didn’t focus on the speaker during the entire message. He is a young man, nearer the beginning than the end of his “career.” He must be considered proficient or he wouldn’t have been selected for this occasion. The people are attentive.

        The message is about 10 minutes.

        We get to listen to the four young talented ladies again, A cappella again and excellently done.

        You wouldn’t see a Lutheran female in vestments when I was a kid. I think the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is the only Lutheran body that still will only allow men to preach. I may be wrong on this.
        As a LCMS member in my early years I was considered a “Minister of Religion” as I was a teacher in its school system and taught Bible classes.

        Another wonderful song of worship with the word alleluia.

        Responsive reading is done in every Lutheran Church I’ve ever been in.

        Here is a song I know. I think it is called “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” It is another of the great hymns in the Lutheran tradition. I miss hymns like this.

        The communion is done in a standard way with the people coming forward. Dipping the bread is something I haven’t seen often.

        The a cappella group is singing during the communion and the song sounds very Jewish to me. This would be a bit unusual for an LCMS church.

        I wonder if the communion is “closed” (to confessing Lutherans only) or open. Again, the LCMS in America practices closed communion.

        The little ones are getting antsy. They have done well to make it this long. This is about the average length of a Lutheran service in America. At minute 50 another joyful hymn is sung by the congregation.

        Nicely finished. I would have loved to be there and I would have really been interested to understand what they were saying.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    I actually need to listen to him more; my wife likes his teaching

    • Chris says:

      I’ve been listening to him quite a bit lately myself, Pastor Jim. His sermons are very balanced and his theology seems excellent on the essentials. What could be better? I never feel like I’ve wasted time after listening to Alistair Begg. 🙂

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