Saturday, July 23, 2011
Proper 11, Saturday, Year 1
The image above was taken tonight with my iPhone as the brilliant mid-summer sunset light streamed through the blinds in the kitchen and struck this icon in this rather unique way...what comes to mind is the Phos hilaron, one of the most ancient hymns of the church, traditionally sung/recited at the beginning of vespers or evening prayer:
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
Today was interesting. I am the chair of the board of directors of the Oregon chapter of the Episcopal Church's outreach ministry to GLBT people, and today we had a much needed, long overdue board retreat. It wasn't a full-on retreat in the best sense of the word, but we spent a good six hours sequestered away in the basement of a suburban parish working out together what we think our mission is going to be in the coming year and some concrete strategies for doing that. It was a very inspiring afternoon. It's a really incredible, interesting, diverse group of people that God has brought together for this special ministry in this time and place. O God, you manifest in your servants the signs of your presence, says the BCP in one of the collects for mission at evening prayer.
The lectionary for today was interesting, as well.
The Saul-David-Solomon saga is only read during the season after Pentecost in Year 1, so once every other year. Yesterday's lesson, the last chapter of 1 Samuel, told of the deaths of Saul and his sons. Today, with the beginning of 2 Samuel, David is given the tragic news, and tomorrow he will sing "The Song of the Bow," his epic lament, in which he proclaims that his love for Jonathan surpassed his love for women. I find that a hard verse for the fundies to explain away; try as they might to dismiss it as poetic hyperbole, don't you agree that it's a very strange choice of words, of all the possible ways he might find to describe his friendship with Jonathan? "I love you more than I love women...no homo!" just doesn't seem to be credible...
Sigh...there's more I could say, but it was a long day with full on mental investment, and I'm fried. So I'll just leave it there. : )