Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008 – since 1875, Easter
has occurred this early only three times; twice on March
23 and once on March 24. The calculation of the date for
Easter involves the use of the Julian and the Gregorian
calendar systems, a major ideological conflict through
the Middle Ages, but by 1700 the issue had pretty well
settled down, at least for the Western churches. In the
simplest terms, here is the calculation:

Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first
ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day
of the vernal equinox. This particular ecclesiastical full
moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon),
and the vernal equinox is fixed as March 21, resulting
in that Easter can never occur before March 22 or later
than April 25.

Or, of course, you could skip the calculating and just find
the date on your calendar or your pocket diary. As would
have been expected, there have been attempts to set a
specific date for Easter, as is done for Christmas, but
tradition has prevailed, and is likely to continue.

This year as a result of the early date, another holiday,
somewhat religious in nature, occurred within this
Holy Week – St. Patrick’s Day, observed on Monday.
With all due respect to the fifth century missionary to
Ireland from Britain, the revelry of this Irish holiday
with its shamrocks, corned beef and green beer, seems
somewhat out of keeping with the Christian observance
of this week beginning with our Lord’s entrance into
Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, His crucifixion on Good
Friday, and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. But
through the years Easter has weathered the colored eggs
and candy and bunnies and will certainly survive the
frivolity of the St. Patrick’s day celebrations.

In the midst of a world seemingly on a path to self-
destruction amid wars, terrorist attacks, moral
deterioration and conflicts within the church itself,
the enduring message of Easter remains the one
solid basis for the hope of mankind, and observing
just the one day of levity to remember one of the
historic Christian church’s more famous members,
may just be a pretty good thing.

One pastor’s over exposure on TV: Any thought
that the nation’s media were giving Barack Obama an
easy pass and were sharpening their claws on Hillary
Clinton’s campaign were resolved during the past week
as we were subjected to daily repeats of Obama’s pastor
in Chicago, dressed in African tribal garb, urging his
congregants not to ask God to bless America, but rather
to damn America. This is the pastor of a church in which
Obama was a member for 20 years ... the pastor who
married Obama and his wife (who has declared her lack
of pride in America) ... the pastor who baptized the
Obama children. Now suddenly, as attention has been
focused on the mindset of this pastor, Obama has sort
of repudiated the man whom he had always touted as
a major counselor and advisor. The attempts of our
political candidates to put on religious cloaks to gain
the approval of American Christians is obviously a ploy
to win votes, and Barack Obama is no more guilty of
this sham than Hillary Clinton or John McCain. It is
simply that Obama’s false facade has crumbled a bit
sooner than the others. Once again we will be faced
with the election day choice of voting for the best of
the worst. Not the choice our Founding Fathers had
in mind for this new nation they had created based on
historic Judeo-Christian principles.

A thought from a present day theologian: "The
benefits of the resurrection are innumerable ... Our
identity as Christians is strengthened as we stand
in the lengthening shadows of saints down through
the centuries, who have always answered back in
antiphonal voice: ‘He is risen indeed.’"
– Dr. Charles Swindoll

And from one of our Founding Fathers: "Those
who ... are not professors of the Christian religion can
never be elected to the office of President or any other
high office, unless first the people of America lay aside
the Christian religion altogether; it may happen."
– Samuel Johnson, 1788

Afterthoughts . . .

Thinking back to Billy Graham, and his well
known relationship to several U.S. presidents for
whom he was called the unofficial "Pastor to the
President." American Christians were very acceptive
of that relationship. The more current implication of
that title arises out of the problem which Barack
Obama is facing with respect to his pastor of some 20
years. If Obama should be elected president, will he
bring Rev. Jeremiah Wright with him as "Pastor to the
President?" And as an associated note of concern, how
should we adapt to a First Lady, Barack Obama’s wife,
who states that only recently has she felt any pride
in our country?

To what extent is America a Christian nation?
Or, how important is our God-relationship? The
Christian Post reports that a new study from the
distinguished Barma Research Group discloses that
70% of American people feel that their earthly family
relationships are more important to them than their
relationship with God as their heavenly Father. Only
19% – approximately one out of five adults – named
their relationship with God, Jesus Christ and the
Trinity as the most important in their life. Somewhere
along the way in the 232 or so years of this nation, the
ideals and principles of the Founding Fathers were
obviously abandoned.

What kind of a president do Americans want?
The American Bible Society, through a Zogby Poll, has
discovered the kind of a president the American people
want. In broad strokes the majority want a president
who reflects the Biblical ideals of leadership. Integrity
and truthfulness were far out in front as the character
traits considered most important. 75% agree that it is
appropriate for the president to take the oath of office
as George Washington did, with his hand on the Bible.
Almost as many – 60% – say they would be more likely
to vote for a candidate who uses the Bible for guidance
in both personal and public matters. Given these facts,
it is not difficult to understand why today’s candidates
make such an effort to display some evidence of having
Christian convictions.

From the first Supreme Court Chief Justice:
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their
rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege of our
Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for
their rulers." – John Jay, 1816

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I sure do like what you've written
here and it needs to be said and
proclaimed from the rooftops!!!

Prof Howdy

P.S. I tried posting a short article
on one of my blog that makes an
attempt at showing non-Christians
why Good Friday is Good!

My poor attempt was to demonstrate
in a way - with few if any church
words - what Our Creator was/is
up to with all of us beings that
He created. I strived to be theologically
correct but to speak in the same terms
as the song we all learned: Jesus
loves me this I know...

If you have a chance, go here:

Click Here

and perhaps leave a comment also:O)

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