Monday, January 2, 2012

Liturgical time

Yesterday a fellow parishioner was sure it was the Feast of the Presentation.  No, I said, that*s not until February 2.  Today is The Feast of the Holy Name.  Then I had to look it up in the front of the Book of Common Prayer, just to make sure.  Liturgical time... it*s wacky.  We get all the events of Jesus* life cataloged but we do pregnancy, birth, baptism, life and death between Advent and Good Friday, a very short span of time.  Then comes the Easter season after He is Risen.  Then a long period, summer and fall, when we remember His life and all He taught us.

Liturgical time is a wacky thing.
Jesus* life expands and contracts.
The Circumcision is right on time:
Eight days later
Than Christmas.
He is not presented in the temple
With turtle doves,
She is not purified
Until next month.
Meanwhile the wise men still walk,
Necks craned to the sky,
They will not arrive until Friday.
The baby lies in straw
Until they can make it
With their gifts and camels,
Several diaper changes later.
Anna and Simeon wait in the temple
They have waited a long time,
A very long time,
To see the Messiah.
Next Sunday he will be baptized,
A man in his early thirties,
Immediately driven into the wilderness
To be tempted by all those things
We are tempted by.
Liturgical time expands and contracts
Everything there is.
We need a bulletin,
A color chart,
A watch with date and month.
We need stars in the sky
To land us in the right place
Every week.
If we blink
We will miss
All those growing up years.

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