Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Eastertide: Running on Empty and Monotheistic Monotony

Another Easter come and gone. I always felt like it was a long run and  an uphill climb for a parish priest through Lent to Easter. There was some Easter running for Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and John, too—read some more thoughts on the subject here.  

Then comes the joy and release of the lovely Eastertide easy peddling downhill run to Pentecost and summer. Downhill was good because, once Easter was done, I was often spent and would be running on empty for a few days. Running on empty isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it turns out. Christians have been running on the reality of that empty tomb for over two thousand years—more thoughts on that here

Monotheistic Monotony

I read somewhere that monotony could be a problem in clergy life. The same seasons, stories and readings year after year could wear a cleric down. Apart from the occasional worry about coming up with something new and original to say each time the cycle repeated itself, the repetition didn't bother me. When I first came out of seminary I was a little afraid I would have preached all I had to say in about six weeks. Once I realized just how endlessly rich and diverting the Scriptures are, I relaxed and enjoyed the mixture of reprises and new insights whenever they came.  

I came across some wisdom from GK Chesterton on the subject in a piece on the joys of knitting over at Her-meneutics recently: 
Children have abounding vitality… they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. 
But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.
It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
Lovely. Read the whole article here