Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Times And Seasons - Why Bother?

Littlemore Parish Church

The Window for Sunday, 4th of March , 2012

Second Sunday in Lent

As I write, it is the 29th of February, Leap Day. It is my Great-Uncle John’s 23rd birthday. He is actually 92 but, unlike the rest of us, who can say on our birthdays “well, I’m only a year older”, he’s four years older than last time. Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint David, the Patron Saint of Wales, which by chance is also the 26th anniversary of my confirmation, in Christ Church Cathedral, here in Oxford.

This remembering of days and dates – why do we do it? Seasons too – why do we keep Lent? Surely, if we got it right last year, we don’t need to do it again? We remember birthdays, when we’ve (in that sense) only been born the once, we remember wedding anniversaries, when we hope only to be married the once, we even remember the day that someone we loved died, when we’d rather not have those first feelings of loss ever again. We remember Easter every Sunday of the year, even in Lent, although we know that Jesus lived, and died, and rose again, for us for all time and in all places. How and why can these dates and seasons be significant for us?

The “how” finds its meaning in that focus. Yes, it is only today but, once, this day meant so much to us. This day, because we keep the date and the season, is made present anew. The “why”, is because it is part of us. The day, the date, the year, the season, become part of our “for ever”, part of our story, who we are, part of our eternity, just as God has made us part of God’s story, and part of God’s eternity.

There is redemption in diaries.

Richard Haggis
Littlemore, Oxford
Leap Day, February, 2012

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