Rector's Journal Contents
My birthday is March 1, and a few times throughout my life, March 1 has also been Ash Wednesday. I am sure that much of the world, when their birthday falls on Ash Wednesday, celebrates their birthday with more vigor than they offer discipline for the beginning of Lent.
The baptism of Jesus has befuddled many a student and scholar of Scripture. Why did Jesus, of all people, need to be baptized? If John offered a baptism of repentance, for what did Jesus need to repent? And if we ourselves get baptized into Christ, what was Jesus baptized into?Theologically, it can be perplexing.
Happy 4th Day of Christmas! I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make all of our Christmas celebrations so meaningful and beautiful. The December 23rd Lessons and Carols was a great success, and thank you to everyone who brought a dish to share at the reception. The choir sang beautifully, and the readers did a fine job.
I am always struck by how counter-cultural the Advent mass readings are each year. As the church is observing Advent with stories of Jesus challenging us to "Keep awake," and John the Baptist warning us to "prepare the way of the Lord," greater society will be celebrating with holiday parties, spending sprees, and an increasingly secular Christmas.
On Sunday, November 19, we will celebrate the Feast of Dedication at St. Mark's. Our current church building was consecrated on November 28, 1954. When the building was being built, November 28 was not widely known in the Episcopal Church as the Feast of the Holy Sovereigns, as this day was not a part of the calendar until many decades later, and I do not know the history of when the celebrations of this date began in our diocese.
In the mid twentieth century, the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar celebrated his first mass as a priest and preached on the theme of the Eucharist. He saw the Eucharist as theology and spirituality — bread broken for the world. He believed his own life has been touched by God in the same way, as if God had said to him: “I blessed you and then I broke you. And I broke you so that I could give you.”