» Sunday I was up at 5:30a.m. to lead our sunrise service at the river at 6:00a.m. That went well, I think. It’s traditionally a short service–20 minutes or so–but it felt particularly short this year, as I prepared for (with Linea‘s input and Randall‘s blueprint) and led the service. Seemed short for the effort of getting up at such an hour and just about freezing our butts off–just like that, it’s over. It was nice, though: mist rising from the river; the sun breaking over the clouds right around the time I read from a Psalm, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
» Preached on Easter Sunday morning as well. For some reason this was a really difficult sermon to prepare for, trying to come to terms with the scripture and what’s inside me and what might be expected of the Easter Sunday service from within my tradition. I felt good about what I was saying (but unhappy about how I said it), but I wasn’t sure how it would come across. I tried to level the intellectual playing field a bit (e.g. we all make leaps of faith) and took a “What if it’s true?” angle.
I see I wasn’t totally alone going that route, which is comforting:
What looks like madness to the mind
Makes absolute sense to the eyes of faith.
“He is not here. He has risen!” (link)
It’s easy enough to get into the spirit of Easter, especially if the sun is shining, the church bells are ringing and there are plenty of flowers about adding to the sense of spring and new life. But stop and think about it for a moment, and – especially if life is not unbounded joy for you at the moment – resurrection is an extraordinary idea, truly beyond belief. (Link)
Received a positive response afterwards, too, which is nice. (Though I need to keep my eagerness for approval in check.)
» On Saturday I finished reading the 500-page Early Christian Doctrines, which was good to get through. Now I just have to type out the answers to the reading questions (which I’ve marked in the book) and that’ll be another assignment done.
» With all the Easter services done and a major reading assignment complete (well, the reading part, anyway) I decided to take the rest of the weekend ‘off’ from schoolwork (I got Monday off as well).
» Sunday night we finally watched The Dark Knight. I’d give it a solid 4 out of 5. I confess, though, to having an increasing distaste for violence in film. I don’t know where this is coming from (maybe having children?), but I’ve noticed it quite a bit lately. Last week Dixie and I watched Kill Bill Vol 1 again. Last time I could handle the violence of that film (which was helped by its intentionally campy, B-grade tone), but for some reason it made me uncomfortable this time ’round. With The Dark Knight I started wondering about who these people are that sit around thinking up these diabolical film characters and their horrible ideas for death and mayhem. Seriously. Who are these people?
» When Heath Ledger killed himself, it seems to me the media suggested that he got so into character when playing The Joker in The Dark Knight that it affected his mental health. Maybe, but I didn’t find The Joker nearly as dark as I had expected the character to be. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first (Michael Keaton) Batman film, but, as I recall, Ledger’s Joker wasn’t a great deal darker than Jack Nicholson’s. (But then memory may not be serving well.)
» Purchased the Tragically Hip’s new album, We Are the Same. I like it so far. It’s a quiet album with plenty of melody, which is something which has been distinctly lacking from their last couple of albums. Being somewhat of a completist, I also bought In Between Evolution at a highly discounted price and remembered as soon as I put it on why I didn’t buy it when it was originally released. Noisy, melodyless.