Friday, May 20, 2011

Of Vestries and the End of the World

If you've been following general current events of whacked out alternative theology, you will no doubt know that the END OF THE WORLD (tm) is within a stone's throw away -- tomorrow, May 21, sometime around 6 p.m. local time if I remember right.

With that in mind, we held our *cough*final*cough* vestry meeting last night.

There are many good things about being an Episcopalian -- the liturgy, the wine, the lack of snake handling. There are also some difficulties with being an Episcopalian -- current politics, the wine, snakes on St. Francis' day.

I suppose one of the things that causes us both much joy and much consternation is the lectionary. You know, that cycle of predetermined readings spanning three years and endlessly repeating itself. There are actually a few lectionaries in use in the church. There's the Sunday lectionary, for which we have now officially converted to the RCL. There's the Daily Office lectionary, which remains unchanged. There's a six-week lectionary cycle found in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, and there's the lectionary for various saints and people worthy of honoring.

The nice thing about the lectionary is that you don't have to work all that hard to come up with texts for Sunday services. You simply look up 4 Easter or Proper 12 or 2 Lent or whatever and you have your readings laid out all nice and neat. The bad thing about the lectionary is that you don't get to choose what comes up. And, let's face it, sometimes you just aren't that enthused about preaching on sheep.

I have begun opening our vestry meetings with Evening Prayer. I use either the Daily Office lectionary, or the lections for the saint of the day. Yesterday was the feast day for St. Dunstan. The reading came from Matthew 24:42 - 47.

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

So while Harold Camping and those poor people whom he boondoggled sit and wait for the rapture, we will be busy trying to be faithful and sensible slaves working at that which we have been put in charge of.

One of the things I love about being an Episcopalian is just how often I am amazed at the confluence of lectionary and life.


Lady Anne | 2:37 PM, May 22, 2011  

Oh, well. I am the editor of our parish's newsletter, and Friday was the deadline for getting articles to me. I announced in church this morning that I hadn't pushed it, just on the off chance I wouldn't have to bother with the bloody thing.

There was somebody in the neighborhood, going door to door with a clipboard, very official-looking, telling folks that if they were taken up in the Rapture, he would see to it that their pets were well taken care of. For a price, of course. He is now residing in the Bad Boy's Boarding House.

People never cease to amaze me.

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