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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Calendar

I had a little facebook conversation the other day about one of our folks who was announcing that all the church's Christmas decorations had been taken down and packed away for another year, before the New Year. My reaction was that it was too soon! What about Epiphany? What about the end of the story?

The response was to remind me that “we” are not a liturgical church and so aren’t compelled by the liturgical calendar. And of course, that’s true—to a degree. I know as a child my church never had any of the “seasons” of the Christian year. We celebrated Christmas and Easter. The rest of the Sundays of the year we were pretty much on our own.

Oh there were the traditional recognitions of Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day; Children’s Day was for baptisms for the members of the pre-baptismal class, if there was one. And it was much later that someone in that far-off international headquarters worship office decided in their anonymous wisdom that our Worship Helps would become lectionary-based. It’s taken us years and years to take hold of the lectionary. Mostly, I fear, we’ve adopted it as a good resource for our worship planning and not much beyond that.

This year, in particular, I’ve been especially drawn to the Christian calendar. I appreciate very much that the calendar takes my hand for the journey of discipleship through the whole year. I had the opportunity to preach twice during the Advent season, so had that lovely waiting time at the front of my mind for that whole four-week period. I like the idea of the Christmas season extending into Epiphany and just what that means to my Christian life.

Out there ahead of us we can glimpse Lent, another time of waiting and personal reflection before Easter—a much longer time than our denominational tradition has generally given it. I even enjoy the notion of Ordinary Time. It’s the longest part of the Christian calendar, but isn’t that a good thing? It’s in Ordinary time that the real work of a Christian gets done! So we need plenty of it, don’t you think?

Back to this week: Epiphany! The arrival of the wise ones from afar. Outsiders, Gentiles, summoned by a star, coming to visit the new-born Jewish Messiah. What does all that mean? I’d need at least twelve days to consider that question. How convenient that I have them on my brand new calendar.

Posted by Marion

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