Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lessons Out of Season?

I love autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. I love the color; the coolness; the sense of completion, of gathering in the harvest and preparing to tuck in under the cover of snow. My mother used to talk about how happy and relieved her mother would be, back in Great Depression, when the last of the year’s canning was toted down to the family fruit cellar, filling up the last empty spaces on shelves bejeweled with jars of vegetables and preserves.
I guess that’s why I don’t find myself being terribly moved by the lectionary readings of late. I missed my Tuesday Lectionary Leanings deadline this week mostly out of residual viral funk and preoccupation with catching up…but I also suspect I “forgot” because the readings just didn’t add up to much for me. The natural world, for me, is much more spiritually and otherwise evocative than what’s going on in the lessons right now. It’s a lot easier to be pagan in the autumn, particularly when the contemporary Church doesn't always seem comfortable in that intersection between the spiritual and the physical. (Witness the half-hearted "harvest festivals" cropping up in Evangelical churches, not as an actual acknowledgment/celebration of the harvest but simply as a tribal back-atcha to the despised Halloween.)
And – maybe it’s just me – sometimes it seems that, as we straggle through the final Sundays in Pentecost, the lessons lose steam anyway; they don’t have the thematic coherence of other seasons in the Church Year. I’m usually really ready for Christ the King Sunday to put an exclamation point at the end of what feels like a very long-drawn-out ellipsis.


Auntie Knickers said...

LutheranChik, Did you see the post on RGBP a couple weeks ago -- I think it was a Sunday one from mother Laura -- about using a Creation liturgy for several weeks in the late summer/early fall? It seemed like a great idea to me. If Lent comes from "lengthen" as we're often reminded, maybe we need a "shorten" season this time of year!

Joolie said...

I feel like the texts this time of year are either self-consciously stewardship-y or apocalyptic, neither things Lutherans do particularly well. Perhaps because I've been a bit depressed lately, I've been seeking for the funny - what in the text can I turn on its head? We take this faith thing so seriously. And I like naming the grace in texts that talk about weeping and gnashing of teeth.