Over the years I have long read the lectionary. I read it for two reasons. First for personal nourishment, and secondly to help guide my preaching over the years. I used the Western church’s lectionary, being a part of the Western church all my life, and in particular, the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Then a few years ago I purchased a large volume, entitled “The Bible and the Holy Fathers, For Orthodox Christians.” I was caught by pleasant surprise. I read the words in the introduction that said, “The moveable calendar starts with Easter. The Orthodox Church marks the exultant emphasis on the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Feast of Feasts, as the epitome of the message of Christ.”
The Western Church begins its lectionary with Advent, and then moves on to Lent, and then to the resurrection. And while the Western Church places its greatest emphasis on the crucifixion of our Lord, the Orthodox Church gives its primary focus on the Resurrection of our Lord.
The Eastern Church seems to agree with The Apostle Paul when he says to the church in Corinth,
(I Corinthians 14:13ff) “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ — whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. “
If you are interested in exploring the significance of Easter, check out the 10 articles under the heading “Easter !”