I ended the Lenten and Eastertide daily reflections on the 50th Day of Eastertide, or more popularly known, Pentecost. To catch up please see here and also here. Let’s step away this week from Epiphany and take a look at what we missed during that long season we creatively (that was sarcasm dear readers) call The Season After Pentecost!
The Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord, March 25th: For those keeping score at home, exactly 9 months prior to Christmas Day we mark the Annunciation visitation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, announcing that she will bear the Savior of the nations by supernatural intervention. I frankly consider this episode to be almost more reality-straining than the Resurrection! There is a beautiful Eastern Orthodox church in Bethlehem with a modest, trickling well at the bottom to mark the spot of angelic pronouncement, the first mention of Jesus by name. Read all about it and view the church here.
The Nativity of John the Baptist, June 24th: Again, the church aligns her calendar with gospel chronologies. Since Mary visited Elizabeth in Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, the Baptist is logically six months older than his cousin, and here we are.
The Commemoration of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29th: This biblical odd couple are forever linked in the church’s memory as twin towers of Christian leadership, more close in marble, fabric and paint than they seemingly ever were in relationship! But without either of them, we are not here today.
Independence Day, July 4th: Yes, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer indeed marks this as a day of holy celebration, given all the Episcopal church’s close ties with our Founding Fathers, Collect and all. Just because the First Amendment guarantees freedom OF religion it does not relieve us of our history! I have always appreciated this inclusion as July 4th in Vail is perhaps my favorite 24 hours every year outside of Christmas and Easter.
The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6th: One of the few Christocentric feasts, printed in red ink in the older prayer books (called Red Letter Days so the priest couldn’t miss nor ignore them), that can be transferred to a Sunday. Upon this feast day the entire calendar year hinges in fulcrum-like fashion as the Transfiguration, both in the narrative and also by date, transitions Jesus from his Galilean ministry to his Jerusalem confrontational chapter. Nativity and Epiphany gives way to Lent, Passion, Death and Resurrection. More about that tomorrow!
- Feel free to review our previous Advent/Christmastide/Epiphanytide devotionals to ponder this query: to which saint’s day or Christological commemoration are you most naturally drawn? Who have you met for the first time in these reflections? Who has re-introduced themselves to you?
- What if you were to mark calendars (however that works best for you) to anchor these calendar days with the church’s commemorations? Crazy, huh?