Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What is on Your Calendar?

Tuesday after Pentecost 19
October 5, 2010

The Lord be with you

Last week was a very busy week for me. I guess it was a foretaste of October because this entire month will also be very busy. One of the results of my packed calendar was that some of my regular posts were not posted, specifically three. Wednesday was the festival of St. Michael and All Angels. Thursday was the commemoration of Jerome, Translator of Holy Scripture. I try to post something about special days in the Church Year, knowing that secular calendars ignore all but the most prominent of them. Thursday I normally post information about the upcoming Sunday. We did have a worship service anyway. It was LWML Sunday for us, with a special liturgy and our ladies playing a prominent roll in the service (they ushered, did the children’s message, read the lessons, and so forth).

Calendars have an interesting way of shaping our thoughts, our memories. For example, if it wasn’t on my calendar I most likely would not remember that October 11 is Columbus Day. Some other dates that just might slip by you this year if they aren’t on your calendars might be Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 18), Groundhog Day (February 2), Chinese New Year (February 14), Presidents’ Day (February 15), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Secretary’s Day (April 21), Earth Day (April 22), Arbor Day (April 23), Cinco De Mayo (May 5), Armed Forces Day (May 15), Flag Day (June 14), Labor Day (September 6), Grandparents Day (September 12), United Nations Day (October 24), Veterans’ Day (November 11), Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), and Wright Brothers Day (December 17).

I would be willing to bet that some of the above dates (and many others on calanders around the world) would pass by completely unnoticed if they are not on your calendar; unless NPR did a special you happened to hear. But put it on the calendars and someone just might say, “Have a happy Wright Brothers Day.” Instantly you remember the story you were taught in school about the first powered flight.

The Liturgical Calendar used in the LC-MS, while possessing many more commemorations than it did in my childhood, is greatly paired down. By the time of Martin Luther (1483-1546) there were so many commemorations that each day of the year had at least three. Martin Luther, in his liturgical reforms, reduced the days to only those related to the Bible. In light of the long history of great saints that have lived since John penned Revelation (including Luther) and the great events God has worked in history (including the Reformation), Luther’s reduction of days to only biblical events and characters had no chance of remaining the norm. But the lasting effect of Luther’s reform of the Liturgical Calendar is to encourage us to consider well who and what is placed on it. The people and events commemorated on the LC-MS Liturgical Calendar are all well worth remembering.

That brings us full circle to calendars shaping our memories and thoughts. On February 14 your calendar can direct your thoughts to Chinese New Years or to Saint Valentine, a martyr for our Lord. On April 21 your calendar can turn your thoughts to Secretary’s Day or Saint Anselm of Canterbury, a great theologian of the past. On October 31 your calendar can get you thinking about Trick-or-Treaters, or the Reformation. On December 17 your calendar can get you to remember the Write Brothers or the prophet Daniel, along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

How we shape our time has a real impact on how our time is shaped. What is on your calendar?

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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