Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s a day where we remember all of those men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces. I’m so grateful to everyone who gave their lives so that we in the United States can experience the freedoms we do. We can freely express our love for Jesus and our love for Star Wars because so many gave their lives for us. If we have today off, we should spend some time remembering those who sacrificed for us. We could also spend some time in any one of these nerdy Memorial Day activities. Read more »
Archive for Holidays
There are a few moments in movies that will give me goose bumps regardless of how many times I see them.
In The Two Towers, when Gandalf and Eomer ride in at the end to rescue Helm’s Deep, I always get goose bumps.
When the Millennium Falcon comes shooting out of the Death Star and Luke escapes with his father’s body, I always get goose bumps.
When the Avengers finally assemble in New York City, amidst scores of screaming Chitauri, I always get goose bumps.
I’ve seen those scenes numerous times and I know they’re going to happen. It’s no surprise that Gandalf saves the day or that the Empire is defeated or that the Avengers assemble. Yet whenever I see those moments, even though I know they’re coming, it’s like my body can’t help but be inspired.
I don’t know if it’s my body causing the goose bumps or my soul, but there’s a part of us that is inspired when good overcomes evil. We love seeing good defeat evil. Read more »
We’re nearing the end of Holy Week. Today is Good Friday, the day Christians reflect on Jesus’s sacrifice upon the cross. It’s both a day of solemn reflection and tempered hope. We know that the cross gives way to the empty tomb but we can’t be in too much of a rush to get to Easter. Good Friday gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the depth of our sin and an even deeper love that led Jesus to the cross.
We cannot fully appreciate Easter unless we experience the sorrow of Good Friday.
In that way Good Friday is The Empire Strikes Back of holidays. Both are a little depressing and both leave you wondering if things are going to turn out all right.
Check out a chart I previously posted comparing the two.
From what I was able to find, Protestants and Roman Catholics don’t have a specific focus for Holy Tuesday. I guess it’s made holy by its association with Holy Monday and Holy Wednesday. I try to pull off the same thing when I go to church conferences; thankfully it’s not that difficult to find two people holier than me.
Our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, though, do have a specific focus for Holy Tuesday. They take Holy Tuesday to focus on the parable of the ten virgins. Even though many Eastern Orthodox traditions won’t celebrate Easter until May 2 this year, we can still take a look at the parable of the ten virgins. Read more »
It’s Holy Week. Christians throughout history have used this week to prepare for Easter by focusing on Jesus’s life the week before his crucifixion. Stealing the idea from my friend, Kevin, over at The Undiscovered Country Project, I thought we could have ourselves our own Nerdy Holy Week here at TheChristianNerd.
Holy Monday usually focuses on one of a few stories, most notably Jesus cursing the unfruitful fig tree. Here is that story from Mark 11. Read more »
One of my favorite shows growing up was The Wonder Years. I don’t think I fully understood everything that was happening, but I saw a lot of myself in Paul Pfeiffer and wanted to marry Winnie Cooper. I really enjoyed the theme song for The Wonder Years, which was Joe Cocker’s “A Little Help From My Friends”. As a young child I appreciated the line in the song that said, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” but completely missed the line “I get high with a little help from my friends.”
I don’t condone getting high, but I definitely condone getting by with a little help from our friends.
Another week of Lent has come and gone and Carl’s Jr.’s Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich is still going strong. Hopefully that’s not the only thing going strong. Hopefully whatever commitment you made for Lent is still going strong, whether that was to give something up or add something to your life. Read more »
We’re over two weeks into Lent and I was wondering how everyone is doing. Does giving something up for Lent have the same success rate as New Year’s resolutions?
Does everyone who gave up social media for Lent take two weeks off and then just blow up Instagram with all the pictures they’ve been saving?
Do people who’ve given up Starbucks for Lent take two weeks off and then get an IV with Pike’s Place hooked up to their bodies?
Do people who’ve given up television for Lent take two weeks off and then call in sick and watch everything stored on their DVRs? (If you give up TV for Lent is saving everything on your DVR and watching all your shows after Easter cheating?)
I don’t know how everybody else is doing with their Lenten commitments but, by God’s grace, I’ve been doing pretty well with mine. I gave up sleeping in because I wanted to have more time in the morning’s to spend with God. While I haven’t batted 1.000 in my efforts, I have been able to get more and better quality time with God. It takes effort to start my day with God, but it always gets me off on the right foot and I never regret it. Read more »
As I mentioned yesterday in my post about Ash Wednesday, I didn’t grow up in a liturgical environment. Traditions likes Ash Wednesday and Lent were foreign to my good Baptist upbringing and me. In recent years I have learned more about liturgical styles of worship.
I’ve learned more about different liturgical seasons like Lent. Before I thought Lent was a time to give up chocolate and eat Filet-O-Fish sandwiches at McDonald’s. My exposure to Lent was limited to people giving up random things, like trying to break an addiction to caffeine or reality television. Thankfully, others less ignorant than myself have expanded my view and shown me what Lent is really all about.
Lent is the season of the liturgical calendar that leads up to Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for the next six weeks. Even as early as the first century Christians have used this period of about 40 days to model Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness. Since Jesus gave up food for 40 days then we as Christians should be willing to abstain from something for 40 days.
But does what we give up for Lent really matter? Read more »
Today Christians all around the world will don an ash cross on their forehead in celebration of Ash Wednesday. I grew up in a Baptist church and don’t have a very liturgical or traditional background. Until a few years ago I didn’t even know what Ash Wednesday was and, even then, thought it was something only Roman Catholics celebrated. Thankfully my knowledge has grown and I’m excited because our church is having an Ash Wednesday service this year.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lent season, the 40 days leading up to Easter. Traditionally Lent has been a time for Christians to prepare their hearts for Easter by focusing on Christ and the work he wants to do in our lives. As the kickoff show to Lent, Ash Wednesday encourages Christians for focus on their own mortality and the promise of new life in Christ. The ash symbolizes that we are nothing but dust and ash, made alive because of Jesus and his work.
Focusing on our own mortality can be difficult. Thankfully, though, we can learn from the mistakes of these nerdy characters that wrestled with their own mortality.
Ra’s al Ghul
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of our savior. Our world was trapped in sin and darkness but Jesus came to set us free. Even though Jesus began the process of redeeming the world and putting everything back together, we still see the effects of sin. Our entire universe is broken and that is evident even in Christmas songs.
A lot of Christmas songs are religious and a lot are kid-friendly classics. However, there are a few naughty Christmas songs that remind us of what Jesus came to save us from.