Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the First Week of Advent, My Rector Gave to Me...

The Great Litany.

Admittedly cool, but not that one! Something more like this one (although it looks like a Lenten one),

We were also treated to a brief sermon which attempted to explain why we would start Advent with the Great Litany. Never mind the meander into the current economic downturn. After all, the Litany was done with much meandering around the church, so we can allow a little meandering about in the sermon this week.

Was the question, "What are we doing here on a rainy, cold, Sunday, and why are we praying for God to have mercy on us for all of those sins" answered to your satisfaction? I hope so. I think we did it in order to be prepared for the coming of the Master. As we heard today in Mark 13:35-37
"Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

Those short sermons help with that last command.


  1. Although the sermon was blessedly within the acceptable time frame, it would have been substantially shorter had the Rector stuck to a topic about which he either has some personal expertise or some education and training. Economics is not the Rector's long suit. His current understanding of the dismal science derives from his belief that the incoming administration will somehow resemble the Second Coming. I believe he should leave punditry to the pundits and stick to preaching the Gospel.

    Those (few) in attendance will certainly remember the number of empty seats in the nave. They will also remember Dr. Tiedeman's comments regarding the sad state of the stewardship campaign and parish finances in general. I wonder if there would be an increase in the number of pew sitters and a commensurate increase in contributions if the Rector would preach biblical certitudes rather than the gospel according to Obama. What would happen if we went back to preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and living the Great Commission rather than worrying so much about social work and MDGs and the like?

  2. There is no getting around the Christian calling to care for the oppressed. Isaiah says it clearly in today's reading from Isaiah 1 which also ties in with the Great Litany.

    "Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your doings
    from before my eyes;
    cease to do evil,
    learn to do good;
    seek justice,
    rescue the oppressed,
    defend the orphan,
    plead for the widow."

    How do we balance paying for new floors, walls, and altars in the Church of Our Saviour with the need to attend to the needs of others? It is a question af balance.

    My conservative mindset is that people have it in themselves to knuckle down, work, and are better off for it. There will always be those that are unable to work who need help. Should that help come from the government or should it come from charitable organizations such as the Church and individuals? You might guess my answer to the last question.

  3. Anonymous1:21 PM

    John -
    Again - blame game - it wouldn't matter who preached on Sunday - it was a miserable day - the Sunday of a long weekend - many were traveling or cleaning up after guests - so many had an excuse (did not say good excuse) but, if you will note - we have had fewer in the past and never noticed - we just happen to have wonderful lighting now.

    With the stock market jumping around like a flea on speed, many either laid off or facing lay offs, it is not a shocker that our pledge cards are not arriving at the rate they could - and - we may have to have another emergency meeting - but have faith - it will all work out - with a little work!

    Signed C2G