Rustlings (August 21, 2017)

We consider them commonplace, but calendars are actually very complex systems. The earliest calendars were lunar based and followed phases of the moon. These phases – full, waxing and waning – were easily visible and identifiable by the ancients and thus provided a rubric for Babylonians, Persians and Hebrews. Since these phases cycle in less than thirty days (like the months of our solar calendar), leap ‘months’ were required to keep months and seasons aligned. Today, most of the world relies upon the Gregorian calendar as the de facto means of recording time. Our Gregorian calendar is a fairly recent tool. It was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582 as a refinement to the Julian calendar. It involved a .002% correction to the length of a year over the Julian calendar. Like I said…complex.

Most of us live by other calendars as well. The Christian calendar flows from Advent to Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Christ the King Sunday and back. The sports calendar moves from football season to basketball season to baseball season and back. (I know, I left out Nascar and Soccer and Bowling, etc., but you get the drift.) And of course, there is the academic calendar for students of all grades.

I tend to live by a preaching calendar. Each summer, I designate a week for annual sermon planning. Yes. The Holy Spirit and I settle into a quiet place and plan our sermons a year in advance. The final manuscripts are written week to week, but we know where we are going months prior. This helps our Worship Planning Team orchestrate services and helps me live with ideas… marinate ideas…for a long time. I thought it might help you to know where we are going as well. In September, we will be exploring scriptures related to Creation Care – loving and living well on this beautiful planet. In October, I’ll be preaching on the theme “We Have these Treasures” and reminding us of the greatest gifts God has given. November’s sermons will focus on the sacred use of our resources. December will sermonically and musically put us in the presence of Mary. And in January, we are going to revisit the Book of Ruth; the material that first brought us together almost five years ago.

So mark ‘your’ calendars for each of these sermonic seasons…and I’ll see you in worship on Sunday.

— Jim