While most of Christendom is in the midst of the Lent and are preparing for Easter, I cannot help feeling like I am missing out on something.
No, I am not going soft on my Presbyterianism, the regulative principle, ect… but I do find something attractive about the traditional church calendar. I love the Lord’s Day, but I do tire of only getting to enjoy feast days marked by secular standards.
More to the point, I wonder if we are missing out on something that causes our tradition to be less rooted, less organic, and, well, less human. Less human? Just so. The Genesis account tells us that God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for sings and for seasons, and for days and for years…” (Genesis 1:14). What did God mean by setting the sun, the moon, and the stars for signs and seasons? Judging by the the way Israel’s agrarian feasts and their cult feasts melded together, I am tempted to think that God’s creation, with its rhythmic cadence of seasons as they point us from new life, to death, to resurrection are to be embraced, not only as weather patterns but as spiritual guideposts. The more man, as a creature, is alienated from a sense of unity with the rest of the creation, the less human he becomes.
The ancients knew this to be true. Farmers know this to be true. Protestant farmers may be safe but what about what about the suburbanite Presbyterian professor? Has he lost something from his life that makes him, I fear, less human.
Besides, on a more frivolous aside, I wonder… do those who eat Christmas cookies from November 25 to December 25 really taste the joy of Christmas morning? Do those who eat sweetbreads and chocolate in March really know the exuberance of easter morning?
Are those without a church calender more vulnerable to the ravishes of sterile modernity?
These are questions that tempt me, as our liturgical brethren being tempted by chocolate.