My memory frustrates me greatly. I cannot remember things that happen well enough to relate to others their meaningfullness. Easter Sunday was a wonderful in-church experience for me and I want to write about it, but I cannot quite remember ... So many times on Christmas and Easter the church experience can not quite live up to what you hoped it would be. Especially sermons. But this year the vicar would have knocked my socks off -- if I'd been wearing any.
You know what? I love the Anglican church. I love its catholic/protestant inability to define itself -- which is for me a recognition of the fact that Christianity needs to be a Big Tent. And I am especially priviledged to go to a church that has a fine vicar, who is a highly regarded theologian and author, the Rev'd Canon Dr. Rod Garner.
In the meantime, at this moment, I am listening to the final 10 on Classic FM's Easter Weekend Hall of Fame. I have a feeling the darn bird is going to win again -- as far as I'm concerned it's a mere bagatelle and I wish someone would shoot that Lark Ascending. But maybe I'll be surprised -- every year I've thought I would be -- one can but live in hope. But now it's Beethoven's Pastoral bliss ... I listen ... Long pause and it's Tuesday already!! Lark Ascending was down one and came in second ... a much more believeable Rachmaninov Piano Concerto Number 2 in the number one slot this year.
Back to Church now. Easter Sunday's sermon. Apologies for the digression. The Vicar talked about the way kids especially make rather banal use of the word 'awesome' in their everyday conversation: i-phones are awesome, for example, but the Vicar's sermons are likely to be 'awe-ful' -- which led him to talk about how nice it would be to have the word come back to its original meaning as in walking along the road after the crucifixion and realizing the companion walking along beside you was Jesus. Yes, that would have been 'awesome'.
Now I'm hazy about how one thing led to another, but the talk was soon about thuribles and incense and there was reference to a service later in the day where incense would be burned. The Vicar described a part of an Orthodox ceremony using incense in which the congregation is blessed three times by the incense as the officiant swings the thuriber toward them and after the third time, the officiant bows from the waist to the congregation. When asked by an Orthodox theologian if he knew why the officiant bowed in this way to the congregation he admitted that he did not know. The bow is in recognition of God in each of us for we are taught that we are created in the image of God and so we are therefore holy and of God.
If that isn't a lesson in how we should be treating each other throughout our lives, I jolly well don't know what is!
Blessings on you awesome all this Eastertide...