Worship in July
As noted in the request for July availability, we ended June with the diaconal ordination on June 17 of Deacon Adam Spencer, with seriously good music by Charlie Sega, Chris Windle, and the Atonement choir, and attendance by many Atonement clergy and faithful parishioners - followed by Fr Daniel's first Corpus Christi celebration on June 18 with us.
On Sunday the 18th, we had equally glorious music, a great homily by Fr. Daniel, fine procession around the block, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, culminating in the Atonement "fight song," Hail Holy Queen, but now it's time to look at the many "green" Sundays after Pentecost.
The season of Pentecost is a season colored in green, interrupted with white next month with the Transfiguration on August 6, and it can run as long as 29 weeks. This year, the last Sunday after Pentecost, Christ the King, is November 26. During this season we will find ourselves re-entering into Jesus ministry as told through the Gospel of Matthew.
Each of the Gospel stories walks us through the life and ministry of Jesus as he journeyed through a place and people who were feeling lost and persecuted and definitely confused! Jesus was a “lower” middle class Jew of his day and came from a family that worked hard and dedicated themselves and their lives to the God of the Israelite’s. Jesus was raised in the full belief and understanding of who he was as a dedicated Jewish man and honored and respected his Jewish heritage.
Jesus challenges, however, to the very core of his faith tradition and this was a challenge to do better – to broaden the current narrow views and to break open the human proclivity to abuse of power. Jesus challenge to the power structure of the church and secular world was not about bringing to life a new “church” per se, but about bringing new life the church of God. Like most voices of hope and of change and of challenge, Jesus voice was misunderstood and feared.
We are each prone to the comfort of “settling in” – and that’s not a bad thing – however, as we find ourselves lulled in the midst of this long green season of Pentecost where the colors don’t change and the story opens up and we get lazy with summer warmth and long days, I challenge you to hear the story that Jesus is unfolding for us in Matthew. What is Jesus saying to the people, to you and I? (with thanks to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Walnut Creek, CA)