I never could get my head around this whole “liturgical year” thing. I mean, special days, ordinary days, colors, what you can eat, should eat or should not eat depending on what day of the week it was after, before or during some festival designed to somehow share a story seems outside of my limited mind. I never could figure out why so many people eat lamb on Easter. A pastor friend told me that they did that because Jesus was “the Lamb of God.” So, we eat lamb because Jesus was a “the Lamb of God?” that sounded so cannibalistic to me. We eat fish on certain days and times of the year because the original followers were fishermen. But we don’t eat wood; after all, Jesus was a “carpenter.” We don’t eat metal; after all, one of the original followers was a tax collector. I mean, eating lamb because Jesus is the Lamb – gross.
Not being raised in the church I could never figure out what the difference between a “red day” and a “green day” or any other color what day was. While none of that changed when I decided to follow the teachings of Christ, I found out about that weird thing called “days” and I have to admit I was not impressed. Not days like “normal days,” but days like “special days” or “ordinary days,” which turn out to be some kind of lesser special day. I could never wrap my mind around the idea that one day was any more special than any other day. I never could remember how certain special dates were calculated. Think about it, what makes the second Sunday, of the third month, after the first full moon, on even years, based on the Hebrew calendar, any different than just Sunday? Or does it only count if you can stand on your head while drinking a glass of good wine? Well, not “good wine” – after all we are the church so it is either Welch’s grape juice or some cheap, overly sweet red wine we get on sale at the local convenience store. I could never remember how many ordinary days connected with how many special days went with the primary special day, never mind the fact that certain colors only went with certain days and not others depending on the times of the year. You know, is it 40 days before or after Easter? Is it 12 days of Christmas and 25 days of what? The idea of any one day being more special than any other day truly caused me great concern; not because it did not matter but because, well, it didn’t matter. You see, the way I see it was that each day of our faith journey is a special day.
It did not matter to me when Easter was, because to me Easter should be an everyday thought, and everyday action to our faith. Celebrating Christmas just one day a year seemed silly, because we should have the birth of Christ in our hearts all year round. When I first started to follow, it felt like people in the church used those “special days” as reasons to act a certain way. They gave things up for Lent, but not during the rest of the year and they usually were it as a “red badge of courage,” as if giving up chocolate is some kind of real sacrifice. They volunteered at the local soup kitchen during Thanksgiving (a quasi-Christian social holiday) and Christmas, but not so much during the rest of the year. They talk about the Holy Spirit working in their lives during Pentecost, but not so much during Christmas.
While I am comfortable with my views, it seemed that those in the United Methodist Churches I served were not happy with my, what they called, “my desire to belittle the Christian year.” – As if there is a difference between a Christian year and just a year.
Other Voices in the SynchroBlog:
Kerri at Earth’s Crammed With Heaven… – Transformation
Sarita Brown at Gypsy Queen Journals – Pentecost: A Poem
Jeremy Myers at Till He Comes – The Incarnation of the Temple, Torah, and Land
Tammy Carter at Blessing the Beloved – Random Biblical Calendar Thoughts, Unity & Love
K. W. Leslie at More Christ – Pentecost
Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – We Cannot Capture The Wind
Emma Nadine at Life by List – An Outpouring of the Spirit
Marta Layton at Marta’s Mathoms – Shadow of Things to Come?
Abbie Waters at No Longer “Not Your Grandfather’s CPA” – Spiritual Gifts
Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections – A “Wild Goose” Festival at Pentecost
Kathy Escobar at kathy escobar – more than the leftovers