As I write this we are currently duplicating the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil programs. Lent has gone by quickly this year, and it is hard to believe that this Sunday is Palm Sunday. Preparations are being made by many different volunteers for our Holy Week liturgies. Easter flowers have been organized, candles for the Easter Vigil were delivered last week, and tomorrow the palms will arrive.
Without fail it happens. There are so many tasks to attend to over the course of the day, and the temptation is to skip taking time to pray. Just this Wednesday, I was sitting at my desk and I thought about missing Morning Prayer at 9:00 am. On Wednesdays Morning Prayer is officiated by one of our lay officiants, and it would have been easy to skip.
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.