Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 26: Year 2
“It is the moon that marks the changing seasons, governing the times, their everlasting sign. From the moon comes the sign for festal days, a light that wanes when it completes its course. The new moon, as its name suggests, renews itself; how marvelous it is in this change, a beacon to the hosts on high, shining in the vault of the heavens!” (Ecclesiasticus 43: 6 to 8)
As an Education for Ministry (EfM) mentor, I have learned to make use of metaphor to explain life situations and our call as Christians. This is a fine opportunity to do it now with the words from the writer of Ecclesiasticus.
The moon waxes and wanes. It grows, from our earthly perspective, and then shrinks again. When the moon is directly between earth and the sun it is invisible. We call this the New Moon. It is almost like it is born again. It starts out small again and then fills in as the days advance.
We too, as we grow in Christ we reflect the light of the “Son.” We also have a continual need to find a quiet place for solace and contemplation. We have no light of our own. We reflect the Light of our Lord Jesus. As the Church we signal the changing seasons. Advent is approaching, then comes Christmas. Christmas is followed by the light of Epiphany which leads us into Lent. Then the Great Day and season of Easter! Then we’re back to Pentecost or Ordinary time. The Church as the moon has a huge responsibility. We must signal the changing of the seasons, the times, the festal days, the everlasting sign. And we do this by renewing ourselves regularly. It’s important to remember to do self care. Those outside of us count on us. This earth needs the moon to keep it in balance.
Today we also remember Richard Hooker (Priest 1600).
Hooker said that, “all positive laws of Church and State are grounded—from Scriptural revelation, ancient tradition, reason, and experience…. Concerning the nature of the Church, Hooker wrote: “The Church is always a visible society of men; not an assembly, but a Society. For although the name of the Church be given unto Christian assemblies, although any multitude of Christian men congregated may be termed by the name of a Church, yet assemblies properly are rather things that belong to a Church. Men are assembled for performance of public actions; which actions being ended, the assembly dissolveth itself and is no longer in being, whereas the Church which was assembled doth no less continue afterwards than before.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for November 3) Seen or unseen, our Church “moon” is the Church, seen or unseen, new or full.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John