Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

Monthly reflections

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Eevee, Opa!, Happy New Year

For the past couple years, I’ve been trying to write a blog post on the first day of each month, starting my title with “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit”, harkening back to those childhood days of saying Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit to bring good luck for the coming month. My blog writing, like my poetry, have been taking a back shelf to my seminary studies and my posts here have been less frequent as a result.

However, classes don’t start for me until Tuesday. I’ve done a lot of my reading already for the first day of classes and I find myself with a little bit of time to reflect and write before the new semester starts.

I continue to play Pokemon Go, taking moments here and there throughout the day. They’ve added various new features to the game since they first launched it. One is missions. You need to accomplish various tasks in the game. One of these tasks is trading Pokemon with other players. I made a trade with my youngest daughter today, so I accomplished that task. I also need to evolve one of the Pokemon, an Eevee, into its next evolution, and have a bit of walking to complete for this.

I did contact another Pokemon player via Facebook about making a trade, and we were going to do it either just before or just after Vespers this evening. We didn’t manage to connect, but the other player was asked by a priest at a neighboring church why he has hanging out at the church. We talked about this a little on Facebook, and I wrote:

A lot of priests I know have no idea what to make of Pokemon, especially when the gym which also happens to be their church has a legendary raid. Many churches have a blessing of the animals (usually in early October). Maybe a good 21st century church needs a blessing of the Pokemon.

For those who don’t play Pokemon, a “gym” is a location in Pokemon where key activities take place. They are often at important sites, including churches. A “legendary raid” is one of those activities where a group of Pokemon players gather at the same time at a gym, and play Pokemon, looking intently at their smartphones. I will save the discussion of theology and liturgics of a blessing of the Pokemon for a different time.

This being Labor Day weekend, Kim, Fiona, and I went to the Greek festival at the local Greek Orthodox church. We’ve been doing it for years. They always have great food.

With all of this going on, I still managed to make it to Vespers. I did not realize that September first is the liturgical New Years in the Orthodox church. Happy New Years everyone. In a few days, we can celebrate New Years again with our Jewish friends.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. May Day. Happy Anniversary CHC. At the beginning of each month I try to find a little time to look forward to the coming month, remembering the childhood incantation for good luck, Rabbit, Rabbit Rabbit.

It looks like the day with start with rain but get nice out. I continue to plow away through my reading for school. I’ll be preaching this coming Sunday. I’ve got my final projects for New Testament and Christian History to complete. I’m starting to gear up for my summer classes.

My studies are going well and right now, as the semester winds down, they are taking up much of my focus and free time.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Lion and Lamb

Another month starts; March. Does it come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, or is it the other way around? Does the old saying talk about weather, or something more? The current forecast is for a noreaster coming up the coast tomorrow.

I love a good storm. There is something beautiful, awesome, and yet terrifying about a storm. As long as we can watch the storm from safety, it can be great, but if we, or others are in danger, it can be a great concern.

Perhaps some of the same applies to our inner storms. May we all weather our inner storms during Lent as we examine ourselves and seek righteousness and justice as we prepare for the Lamb on Easter day at the beginning of April.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. The Feast of St. Brigid.

O God, by whose grace your servant Brigid, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

Half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, we celebrate the Feast of St. Brigid today and Candlemas, Groundhog’s Day, and my sister’s birthday tomorrow. Today is also the first of the month, so I start off with the monthly childhood wish for good luck, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit”.

One old Celtic legend is that St. Brigid was the midwife to Mary when Jesus was born. Exactly how she went from Ireland to Israel is not usually explained in the legend. She is also known as the Patron Saint of Poets so perhaps we should think of her midwifery to Mary as metaphor.

It is a useful metaphor to think about. Who are you helping give birth to something and what are they giving birth to? Who is helping you in a similar manner and what are you giving birth to?

Recently, I got in to a discussion related to this and the idea of spiritual direction. It seems that for many of us, our discernment paths may feel more like we are in long painful labor with midwives assisting us than simply being told what we are supposed to do by a director.

I’m sure that people can spend a lot of time picking apart these metaphors, if that is what they choose, yet the questions remains, what are you giving birth to? Who is assisting you through this process? What are others around you giving birth to? How are you assisting them?

Happy St. Brigid’s Day.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, New Years 2018 and the Perpetual New Year

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit. Happy New Year. A new month begins. A new year begins. I’ve often written blog posts starting with Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit remember a childhood idea that doing this would bring good luck for the year. I’ve often celebrated the new year with champagne toasts, herring, lentils, or other things thought to bring wealth and good luck for the coming year.

Last night, my wife and I went to dinner at a neighbor’s house. After dinner, we came home, and I went to bed not much later than usual, and I awoke this morning, not much later than usual. I’ve been thinking a lot about the social construct of time. Last night was New Year’s Eve in the Western Roman calendar, coming on the last day of the final month, the tenth month, December, not counting the months added for the Emperors, Julius and Augustus , and before the first month, January, named for the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions.

It was not New Year’s Eve in other calendars, like the Hebrew calendar, the Persian calendar, or various Asian lunar calendars. In reality, any moment, every moment, can be viewed as the beginning of a new year.

Yet even this is based on the idea of time as dimension that we move sequentially through, that what is past is past and what is yet to come, is yet to come. It is as if we are walking along a path and think of what has disappeared beneath the horizon behind us has ceased to exist and what is coming up on the path ahead of us doesn’t exist until we see it.

In the Christian Gospel of John, we find some interesting thoughts about Jesus and time. “Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.’” Does something special happen to us when we celebrate the Eucharist or when we pray? Do you become part of an event that goes beyond time and location, joining a heavenly crowd? If we pray without ceasing, as 1 Thessalonians 5:16 calls us to, are we ceaselessly participating in something beyond space and time?

Where does this leave us when it comes to New Year’s resolutions? Is every moment a moment of new resolutions? What can we resolve for the new year, for the new us, moment after moment? I’ve always like the resolution, “to live each moment more fully and more lovingly than the previous”. I’ve often failed at this, but it remains a great goal.

Where does this leave us as we try to discover, as we try to live into, the future that already is, into God’s loving dream for all of us?

1 John 3:2 comes to mind:

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.

Yet this raises an interesting question. If we are all going to be like God, to a certain level, especially if we apply some elementary math like the commutative and associative properties, then we are going to be like one another. In what ways am I going to be like the homeless man fighting addictions and other mental health issues? In what ways am I going to be like one of the first lesbian priests ordained, or a professor of black liberation theology? In what ways am I going to be like a conservative voter?

How does exploring this change who I am? How does it relate to living each moment more fully and more lovingly than the previous?

I guess these are aspects of my resolution for this coming year. I’m starting off by reading “A Priest Forever” by Carter Heyward. I hope to read a bit of “Martin & Malcolm & America: A dream or a Nightmare” by James Cone. Perhaps I can add in some writings from indigenous people here in America and around the world as well copies of various street newspapers.

How do we take this further in changing our daily media diet? What ideas, resolutions, or resources do you have?

Syndicate content