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In the partly-churched world of my youth, we never got any down times. The Protestant churches I knew, mainstream and Evangelical, observed a church year, kind of. But only the high points.
Everyone celebrated Christmas. Even in that very secular college town, a lot of people actually went to church on Christmas Eve. Even if they didn’t believe that God was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, even if they didn’t believe in God period, it’s a great story. It makes you feel good about everything.
People - Easter - Christmas - Number - Secular
Many people also celebrated Easter by going to church. Not nearly as many as went to church on Christmas, but a surprisingly high number, considering how secular was the world in which I grew up. They didn’t believe Jesus rose from the dead, but the persecuted hero returning from the dead was another great story. Plus it provided a nice spring festival after the long New England winter.
What Christianity remained in that town mostly observed the high points without the hard parts. Outside the small Catholic church on the main street and the Catholic chapel at the university, no one observed Ash Wednesday or Lent in a way anyone else would notice. The Episcopalians on the town common must have observed it, but they certainly didn’t make their observance public. The rest of us knew about Ash Wednesday, if we did, only because later in the day we’d see a few people with smudges on their foreheads.
Town - Religion - Just - Points - Life
My town’s secularish religion worked only so far. Just celebrating the high points doesn’t really help much. In life we have high points and we have low points. The world gives us great friends who have our back and it gives us enemies who plot against us. It gives us eyes to see the sunset and cancer that takes away...
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