Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dying and Rising to New Life in Star Wars

I know that many of your are disappointed in me right now... I did not post anything last week that reflected on the lectionary readings... but frankly, if you want a really awesome commentary, I refer you to the Rev. Janet MacNally's sermon for June 22. I do this 1) because she's my mentor, and 2) the lectionary seemed really inaccessible, but Janet just knocked it out of the park.

Meanwhile, last week I went to a Star Wars marathon that was also hosted at my church (my geek went into overdrive). We watched them in the Machete order, which begins with Episodes IV and V, then goes back to Episodes II and III (please note that it ignores the episode which shall not be named), and finally ends with Episode VI. It was glorious. By the time we finished Episode VI: the Return of the Jedi, I was in awe of the story arc that is Star Wars.

Monday, June 16, 2014

And Another Thing (about Trinity Sunday)

So something was mentioned in the sermon yesterday that is just too good to pass up.

The rector at my church was preaching. I got excited because he used visual aids that I also used in my last blog post (they were the icon and the stained glass learning tool). But that's not the point.

He pointed out that when it says in the gospel reading, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations," it doesn't necessarily mean what we think it means. It's almost like a process of going out, living life in the example of Christ, encouraging others to do the same, and finally having a death in the example of Christ, too.

I looked more into this, and I found out that this emphasis is in the grammar. There is just as much emphasis, grammatically, in verse 19 on the 'go' as there is on the 'make disciples.' That means that neither of those is more important than they other.

And the whole point of this supplemental blog to what I wrote on Saturday is to say that the sermon made me think of this video (included below). I feel like I've been sharing it a lot lately, but that's okay, because I think it's worth sharing that much. But for the record, I didn't find the video. My bishop did. And he shared it because he would like the Church to be more like this. What do you think?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's the Great Pictological Blog Post, Charlie Brown!

Ready? Okay, here we go...

The First Sunday after Whitsunday

Another awesome meme gleaned with thanks to Episcopal Church Memes

I've heard it said before that Trinity Sunday (which is, this year, on June 15) is a good day for a rector to hand of the preaching to the intern, or to the deacon. Basically, the rector can let someone else confuse the hell out of the congregation. Now I know that we have Thomas Becket to thank for this preaching conundrum. And for some strange reason, I'm taking it upon myself to give this a shot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Can You Feel the Burn? Or, the Feast of Pentecost

This past Sunday was the celebration of Pentecost (which means that after this post, I will be caught up, liturgically speaking...kinda).Pentecost is also referred to as "the birthday of the Church," which takes some explanation...

In Christianity, the Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter. The prefix "pente" is the Greek word for fifty and the suffix "coste" means fire or burning. Therefore the Pentecost the celebration of the Holy Spirit appearing in the form of flame fifty days after Easter. I guess that wasn't that much explanation...

The new piece that I learned this year (thanks to the Pulpit Fiction guys) is that the Pentecost was not originally a Christian thing. The celebration of Easter coincides with or parallels the Jewish feast of Passover, and 50 days after that is the festival of Shavuot, which any Hellenistic Jew would call Pentecost. This Jewish festival commemorates when God gave the Torah to them at Mount Sinai, all of which happened after the Passover in Egypt, the result of which being the Hebrew release from slavery by Pharaoh.

What the heck does this mean for the story of Pentecost? It means that when the lectionary reading starts with "When the day of Pentecost had arrived..." it doesn't mean that God had ordained this day for the followers of Christ, but that the Jews in Jerusalem and the surrounding area would be coming into the city to celebrate what God had given them. The disciples of Christ were totally bogarting the celebration with their wacky tongues of flame and speech in other languages! But Christianity has a long, time-honored tradition of taking other people's celebrations and not giving them back, so whatever...

Any rate, since the story tells that the Holy Spirit filled Christ's disciples, Pentecost is ofter referred to as the birthday of the church. And here is a meme to that effect:

I couldn't have memes in this blog
if it weren't thanks to Episcopal Church Memes!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Like Dorothy Chasing after the Wizard's Balloon, or, Ascension Sunday

I am, seemingly, behind the ball this week. Last weekend I wrote a brief post that served as part two of the post I had written the weekend before that. I felt that it was called for, so I went for it. However, I still want to write about the readings for Ascension Sunday (also last Sunday). I feel that, also, is called for. So I'm going for it, even though it is now the day before Pentecost... I blame my present state of needing to catch up on the end of the school year, which just happening this past week. But since it is the end of the school year and I've been a little punchy, here is a snapshot of what I was thinking about with the title of this post:

Is likening Ascension Sunday to The Wizard of Oz slightly heretical?
I don't think so...

And since I'm doing something abnormal with my the timing of my post, here is something I do normally; provide a humorous meme related to the topic:

Included thanks to Episcopal Church Memes