Monday, October 24, 2016

Or Monday sunrise

The Proper appointed for the Sunday is also used at celebrations of the Eucharist on the weekdays following, unless otherwise ordered for Holy Days and Various Occasions reads the rubric (BCP 158). Orderly, it makes sense as Sunday is the first day of the week ahead, but I’ve never done that because (a) I like weekday Eucharists to be a less formal opportunity to read, hear and discuss the next Proper for homiletic contemplation and for teaching to build knowledge and anticipation of the upcoming Sunday, and (b) after working for my father all my growing up years and serving in the Navy for twenty more years, I don’t easily tolerate being told what to do. Rather than the rubric, as a parish priest I used the Proper for the upcoming Sunday as of greater benefit to all. Anticipating this Wednesday evening then, I’m reading Luke’s story about Zacchaeus in the Tree (Luke 19:1-10).

It’s another tax collector story, another story of Jesus taking supper at the home of the most detested man in town. I didn’t notice it until after my grandmother died, but my grandfather used to say “take dinner,” and “take supper” when he was coming to our house. 

And one trip to Australia I went to their Department of Defence headquarters in Canberra, equivalent of our Pentagon, to call on an Assistant Secretary whom I’d worked with when he was at the embassy in Washington. Geoff didn’t know I was coming, and when he walked out into the crowded waiting room he looked at me and exclaimed, “Tom Weller! As I live and breathe!” which sufficiently impressed the American defense industry client I’d brought with me; and then he ushered us in to his office ahead of all the others waiting, sat down and visited long, rang his wife at home and told her he was bringing me home to “take tea” with the family, but didn’t invite my client. I thought it might be a cream tea sort of thing with scones and jam, but it turned out to be supper.

Where was I going with this? Not sure; the thought started when Father Nature summoned me at two o’clock this morning and I stayed up an hour and a half sitting out on 7H porch with this MacBook browsing pictures and art about Zacchaeus.  Cool outside, 56F, but damp at 75%, I got chilled, crawled back into bed and zonked off. 

Millions (?) of pictures featuring the short man in the tree. One thing that came to mind again is that we see Jesus through our own eyes, which stirs whether God created us in his image or vice versa. 

Jesus in the manger over our Altar is an adorable boy with a head of blond curls that won’t wait. A series of paintings from Africa have a black Jesus, and always in a signifying red robe. Western art through the ages often has him wearing pure white, medieval icons and paintings with a halo that grows increasing elegant and golden. How was he really? Maybe a dark, swarthy man under five feet tall as with other men of his era, age, in colorless garb? 

Probably shouldn’t tell it, but mindful of Clayton Sullivan*, I visualize a passed-over army chaplain major in camo, in a quonset hut overseas, line of soldiers outside the door 

waiting their turn to complain about the sergeant, or the extended deployment, or homesickness, or neighbor wrote that wife back home is running around and could Rabbi get them a discharge. Reb is every bit as tired as She looks. 

At any event in this morning’s wee hours under Orion and Sirius, I found art to enjoy, scattered through this blogpost, my favorite perhaps the top one.

Or sunset last evening

Or Sunday night blurry

Or Monday sunrise


* Clayton Sullivan, Jesus and the Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church

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