It is a bitterly cold morning up here in the Northeast–so cold I’m putting off my long walk till the temperatures come up into the 20s this afternoon (hopefully). A bunch of my children are going off for the weekend to do a service project at a Christian camp and I’ve got to roust myself and dig out all the snow pants and warm things. And check off a long list of homework to be done before they leave. Oh! And today is Candlemass. I have dutifully left up both of my little Christmas Trees…and I guess they will stay up a while longer because I literally do not have time to take them down now. So maybe this will be the year that we celebrate Christmas through Lent or whatever.
So I have three lovely podcasts for your today. The first one is about the Church Year and why you should even bother to go to church. The article is available for subscribers. Surely, Lent is coming soon, and if you are having trouble getting to church regularly, maybe this conversation will help you.
Here’s a bit of the article to whet your appetite:
“So teach us to number our days,” prayed the great prophet Moses in Psalm 90, “that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90: 12).1 The request lies at the center of his meditation on the impermanence of the creature compared with the everlasting power of God. Our days end “like a sigh” (Psalm 90:9), they are “soon gone and we fly away” (Psalm 90: 10). For modern people striving to separate themselves from any sign of death, it might seem morbid to ask God to show you how short your life will be. Worse, for many people — the young mother cooking yet another meal, those suffering chronic health conditions, the increasing number of people enduring mental and emotional anguish — the effort of “numbering” days might feel cruel. I get up and do the same set of tasks over and over — bathing, eating, working — only to do it all again tomorrow. I kick against these cyclically monotonous goads. I should be going somewhere, accomplishing something, or — that most elusive hope — flourishing. Is there a way out of the drudgery? The simple answer is yes — by considering the day of your inevitable death. But how can you do that? By following the church year in the company of other believers. In other words, by going to church. The heart of the church year is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. The work of celebrating His life — from the time you are born until the time you die — is the spiritual backdrop, the practical meditation on that difficult line from Moses’ psalm: “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past” (Psalm 90: 4).
Second, Matt and Jon have started a podcast as part of the Cramnber Fellowship we’ve been whittling away on for a while. If you’re interested in Anglican stuff, this is a place to get your bearings.
And third, I have this cued up–I’m hoping to get to it today. Bonnie Keen, who is so cool, has a book about women in the Bible out, based on a musical she and her friend have written. The podcast will go through the various people they talk about in the book. It also seems like it might be a fun lenten follow.
Alright, so sorry, but I gotta run along. I’ll just leave you with my favorite thing that I always listen to on the Feast of Dedication–the Song of Simeon is prayed around the 1:45 mark and it’s so wonderful:
Have a nice day!