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FIFTY DAYS OF GLORY: from Easter Morning to the Eve of Pentecost

FIFTY DAYS OF GLORY: from Easter Morning to the Eve of Pentecost

By David W. Virtue
April 10, 2014

For years the Rev. Canon Mark Pearson had a dilemma, one he shared with fellow clergy of various denominations. He wanted to preach on the earthly appearances of Jesus during that 40 days the resurrected Christ appeared on earth; he wanted to preach on Jesus' Ascension; and he wanted to preach on that week and a half during which the disciples were instructed to remain in Jerusalem prior to the Holy Spirit being poured out on Pentecost.

But he couldn't find a lot of useful material. "There were various bits in commentaries and there were various scholarly tomes, but there was little to help the preacher apply the events to the lives of people today, to their walk with Christ and their work for Christ," Pearson notes.

As he asked others who preach what they consulted in their sermon preparation, Mark discovered many others shared a similar concern: where to find helpful materials? Pearson had already written four well-received books so increasingly he was urged to write a helpful book covering the fifty days between Easter morning and the Eve of Pentecost.

"I wanted it to be somewhat scholarly," Pearson told Virtueonline. "But I wanted it to be readable and profitable for the average Christian." Pearson found the solution: put into the book's endnotes brief scholarly discussions and links to further materials, but write the text itself in simple language.

"I have a friend who loves to say, 'You don't have to dumb down the content to make the material understandable' so I elicited help for the manuscript from three quite different groups of people. First, New Testament scholars who know their stuff and are also believers in the authority and reliability of the Bible. Second, believing clergy of various denominations who need to prepare sermons and teaching classes. And third, 'average readers' like firefighters, farmers, mechanics, and postal workers. The first group ensured that nothing in the book is contrary to historic, orthodox biblical Christianity; the second that the book will answer the need for solid materials beneficial to those who preach; and the third that the average reader can understand and profit from it."

The Rev. Dr. Rod Whitacre, Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania comments, "Drawing upon a variety of resources both ancient and modern, and providing a mixture of homiletical and scholarly details, reflections, and insights, Canon Mark traces out some of the possible implications found in the encounters with the risen Christ recorded in the four gospels. As he tours these accounts he makes both intellectual and spiritual connections that at times offer comfort and at other times challenge."

The Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, eighth Bishop of Albany, retired, notes the book is a "fine sequel for the Christian who invests a lot in Lent and Holy Week but feels a void after Easter Day."

Mark Pearson is a graduate in theology from Oxford University with a doctorate from Boston University. In his nearly forty years as a priest he has served as a seminary professor, a pastor of local churches, and a mentor to people new to ordained ministry. He is married to Dr. Mary Grace Pearson, has three adult children, two grandchildren, and a basset hound. He lives in Hampstead, New Hampshire. He describes himself as a moderately competent musician, an able vegetable gardener and a fanatic Boston Red Sox fan.

FIFTY DAYS OF GLORY by Mark Pearson is being carried in various local and on-line book stores. It can also be ordered for immediate shipping to North American addresses through Institute for Christian Renewal, Mark's ministry. Call (603) 642-3002.

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