Our wonderful pastor preached a defense of celebration and the liturgical year last night from Deuteronomy 16, which gives instructions for the Passover. I never knew that one of the three annual required feasts of Israel, for which the whole community went up to Jerusalem (basically, to party for a solid week), had carried over to become Pentecost, still recognized by the Christian church. Josh argued against the picture of Sabbath which Laura Ingalls Wilder presents in her stories–little children sitting in hard-backed chairs, not allowed to play with their dolls.
Instead, our lives should be structured around the celebration of our liturgical feasts, not just Easter and Pentecost and Christmas but the weekly Christian feast of the Lord’s Supper. And it should be joyful. Individualistic introspection and dirge-like music don’t quite capture what this feast is about, either, which is why we sing together during the distribution of the elements at Good Shepherd.
I have some sort of flu or something. I’ve been in bed with aches and a fever and chills since Friday, had a headache for three days before that. Last night I dragged myself to evening church because the thought of getting through another week without Sunday was just depressing. I was too weak to stand and sing, but as I sat there I looked and listened. I knew everyone there. The closing ancient Greek evening response we often sing has become so familiar to me now and to hear them all singing it made me realize how much we do live for Sunday, and how much we’re going to miss that place when we have to say goodbye. Fortunately this liturgical rhythm is what we’re called to for the rest of our lives.
Happy Monday. Today’s ritual Monday meal will probably be…yogurt.