Advent 2 – Sunday
Rev. Bill Cwirla from a LCMS parish in the USA recently published a response to an iMonk request for thoughts on the liturgical year. This is probably one of the better ways of describing the liturgical year that I’ve seen anywhere in print or online.
You might think of church year in terms of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (I thank John Pless for this, though I’m not certain it originates with him.) The season of Advent/Christmas/Epiphany is the season of the Father who sends the Son on His mission of incarnation to save the world from Sin and Death. The season of Lent/Easter/Ascension is the season of the Son, who lays down His life and takes it up again as the sacrificial Lamb and Savior. The season of Pentecost is the season of the Holy Spirit, who is the breath and life of the Church as the Body of Christ in discipling mission to the world.
The church year is an annual pilgrimage, beginning with the anticipation of Christ’s coming in glory (Advent), going through His incarnation (Christmas) and manifestation (Epiphany), contemplating our sinfulness (Lent) in view of Christ’s sacrifice (Good Friday), His victory over death (Easter), His ascension to glory at the right hand of the Father by which our humanity is glorified in Him (Ascension), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days (Pentecost) as we wind our way to the Last Day and the consummation of all things. In other words, the entire work of our justification and sanctification in Christ is rehearsed every year – from incarnation to glorification.
Readers from EMP of this blog will see one general point of disappointment/annoyance that I have with CMCA (as a whole) down in the comments section of that link above. It’s not a biggie, but it’s one that’s bugged me since 2002 when I first got a hold of my grandfather’s copy of the United Methodist Book of Worship (1960’s edition). At least I’m getting my liturgical year fix now on a weekly basis (or more if I hit St. John’s during the week). I blame my introduction to the world of Benedictine spirituality in 2005 that accelerated my discontent, self-searching, discovery and observation of the church year (and through that, an appreciation of broader Protestant [primarily Lutheran and Anglican], Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic views on the church year and theology).
On a slightly more worldly note, I’ve finally found a good tailor in Brisbane CBD. And another good place to go to obtain business menswear (that isn’t any of the department stores). The Cloakroom is one such place. And Andrew, the proprietor of the business, was an absolute joy in making sure that my recently tailored white business shirt arrived the way I wanted it to look. Complete with a monogram of my initials on the left cuff that was a beautiful little touch (not to mention a personalized touch too). I’ll definitely be back there in 2011 to get a couple more tailored shirts done for special occasions and more formal business occasions.
Richards and Richards on Elizabeth St is the new place. Right next door to the new Hermes store on the corner of Edward and Elizabeth Sts. The best part is that they have a ridiculously wide range of off-the-rack shirts, slacks and suits there in long-lasting fabrics that look good and (more importantly) their tailor is in house. Turns out that I can actually go down a couple of shirt sizes to find one that is “comfortably fitted” to my (weird and irregular) body shape and their in-house tailor will alter the sleeve length, body shape of the shirt and the top button for a very reasonable price.
Now only to get more exercise over summer, eat less and drop more weight. If not only for health reasons, clothing reasons, but I’m really getting sick and tired of beating myself up about my self-image. Who’dathunkit? A guy who has body image and self-esteem issues…