Bill Fulton is one of my new heroes. Bill is an elderly man who doesn’t act like one. He joined Christ Church several months ago and immediately starting bringing friends from his apartment complex and local library, believers and non-believers alike. He reads great books, good theology, sends me interesting articles and photocopied pages of his latest reading and occasionally shows up with a piece of chocolate for my wife, Christine. Last week I overheard her giving him some direction for how to serve with our hospitality ministry. I want to be like Bill when I grow up!
One of the pages of Bill’s recent readings that I received in the mail is from a theologian named Geerhardus Vos, in a collection of his sermons called “Grace and Glory.” The selection has to do with the beauty and power of observing the church calendar. As we enter Holy Week and then the Easter season, this is a good reminder of what’s going on. Or, as Bill’s handwritten note on the photocopied pages puts it, “A fine argument for the church year, I thought.”
Here’s the quote:
“If the observance by the church of special seasons associated with the great epochs on the work of redemption is to be justified at all, it can be justified on no higher ground than that such seasons as Christmas and Easter and Pentecost invite us to rise for a moment from the poor fragmentariness of our average consciousness of salvation to that clearer and more blessed vision whereby, as from a mountaintop, we span the entire origin of our faith. Everything belongs to us of right because we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s; but we are consciously rich only in so far as we learn to place ourselves at least sometimes on those points of elevation from which we may survey the land of God’s promises as a whole. Perhaps we do not sufficiently appreciate the extent to which the remembrance at stated seasons of these great facts of the incarnation, the atonement, the resurrection, the gift of the Spirit, has kept alive in the church the spirit of true evangelical piety. I am sure we shall not have meditated upon the words in vain if our meditation leads us to realize in some greater measure how entirely our holy religion stands or fall with the resurrection of Christ.”