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Monday, November 27, 2017

I Never Knew That

I’m trying pretty hard not to be a church calendar snob.  Honestly, I don’t even know how I got to be this way… how I began to care about the church calendar, at all (about which I knew nothing for the vast majority of my life).  I think, in some ways, it is a classic case of learning something new that resonates deeply and wanting everyone else in the world to have that excitement, as well.  But let’s return to…  I’m not too fond of being a snob (period), and it certainly doesn’t sit well with me to be a snob in the Christian/Church sense.  That just never ends well for anyone!  (But please take note of the fact that my seven year old is really upset about crosses popping up at nativity scenes.)

I did, however, have an exciting moment several weeks back, and I want to share it. 

I was sitting at a table, sharing a meal, and talking about the lectionary (because that’s totally normal, right) when a friend of mine who has been a part of the church community for a lifetime said, “I never knew that God’s people all over the world were studying the same Scriptures, week after week, until you started teaching us about that!” 

We’re talking a matter of days, here, friends!  She had been in church her whole life, and she had never heard anyone talk about the shared study of Scripture, across the board… across geographic and cultural and denominational boundaries… until a few days earlier!  And let’s be real, up until a few years ago, neither had I.

She was excited!  I was excited!  And it’s not because I have some legalistic need to dictate which Scripture should be used at all times by all people.  It’s because this is community!  This sharing of the same words (and the same Word) allows us to connect with people… globally… every single week (and dare I suggest every single day, if we also consume the daily office).

Someone else at the table chimed in…  “Just our denomination, right?”

Um… not quite…

“But not Catholics, right?”

Insert the part where I try not to die, because yes… definitely Catholics…


Now let’s be clear…  I’m pretty sure the RCL (publically released in 1994, although preceded by others and tracing the history of reading common texts all the way back to the early church) is not synonymous with salvation (sigh of relief for all the people who were born and died before I was in high school), but I do want to underscore the significance of commonality in community, because we live in a culture steeped in individualism, and I think there’s something to the idea that God might actually be saying the same things to all of us. 

This helps to dispel the “us and them” myth.  It brings us together as one people.  It makes us a village as opposed to an island.  Maybe it even fosters compassion for the other, because it’s more difficult to turn away from our brothers and sisters when we’re looking at their faces, and we do that when we’re gathered in the same sacred space—physically present or not.  Maybe that’s (at least part of) why continuity matters…


  1. oh you are such a beautiful church snob. scott says we cant put up our tree until advent starts. it makes me crazy.

    1. Yay Scott! You know, some people don't put the tree up until Christmas Eve...