Monday, November 22, 2010

The Frame

For so long life was framed by the seasons on the Christian Calendar. Time passed according to its relationship to Easter morning. The seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost were noted more than the ordinary seasons of the calendar such as Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. One of the things noticed in these early days of retirement is that life is framed differently. While I am not always sure which Sunday it is in the season of Pentecost, I am aware of things like the time of sunrise and sunset. Changing seasons are noted not by changing colors of paraments, but by changing temperatures, the location of the rising sun, the color of trees and fields, and even clouds in the sky. The Sanctuary is not inside a building, but is now much larger and there is no going in or out of it. The sacred smell of candles has been replaced by the sacred smell of earth. The frame of life is different.
Still, however, there are those moments which must somehow be remembered and observed. All Saints Sunday is one such moment. The place I worshipped had no "All Saints Sunday" worship, the space around me was not filled with the refrain of For All the Saints, and there was no reading of the honored dead who live now in heavenly place. While the structured moment was missed, the sacred opportunity was not. During that week I found myself remembering and calling the names of those souls important to me who had passed from this life to the life to come. The hymn of the day became my theme song for the week.
We worship in the sacred spaces all around us. They come in all sizes and shapes. As long as we carry a heart filled with love for God and one bent on faithfulness, He will surely be pleased with our worship. What He sees is not our elaborate ritual or the lack of it, but our heart. Blessed be His name! Blessed be His Name!