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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy September!

By Scott Bauer, USDA [Public domain],
 via Wikimedia Commons
I really love this time of year.

I love that it's almost time for apple picking and leaves turned to fire and warm pumpkin muffins. I love that the end of the church year draws nigh, and we will soon sing Crown Him With Many Crowns with fervor on a triumphal Christ the King Sunday.

I suspect that I have such an affinity for this time of year because, liturgically, we are approaching both a time of triumphant fulfillment and a subsequent time of new beginning.  

We are approaching the conclusion of the church year, when we will celebrate the Kingship of our Lord.  We look forward to the Feast of All Saints, when we will consider those who have gone before us, and the blessing that their example can be in our lives.

Then, full of new hope, we will embark upon a new church year.  We will begin anew our annual walk with Christ through his birth, life, death, and resurrection.  It is a tremendous privilege.

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes, October 2009
By Megan Chromik [CC-BY-SA-2.0
via Wikimedia Commons
Somehow, it reminds me that the Christian life is a process.  The Orthodox are fond of saying, "I am saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved."  There is wisdom in that.  As we give thanks for our salvation by grace and simultaneously strive toward becoming more like our Lord, the repetitive annual cycle of the church year brings hope and comfort while schooling us with its cycle of readings, worship, and instruction.

People hunger for cycles and repetition, I think.  We are drawn to familiar rituals and observances.  We are designed to respond to them.  What better way to immerse ourselves in the life and ministry of our Lord, than to walk with him through his life and teachings, from beginning to end to new eternal beginning, each year?

In the meantime, we will live out these last weeks of Ordinary Time, studying the life and promise of the Church, and God's Kingdom on Earth.  Throughout this time of transition between this church year and next, leaves will turn and candles will burn.  Our homes will smell of spice once more and the nights will begin to lengthen.  We are approaching the end, begin again at the beginning. The cycle of the church year, like the love of our Lord, never ceases.

Pax Christi, Dear Ones,
May you be blessed in every season,
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Pax Christi!