Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Of Calendars and Priorities
The historic Christian calendar is an adiaphoron. One man considers one day holier than another and one man considers all days equal. Let them both do it to the Lord's favor. Celebrate Christmas on Dec 25 or April 17 - or not at all. You are neither more nor less likely to end up in hell whatever you choose.
That is the truth. The bare truth. The truth of refined theological thought in philosophical repose. We mere mortals, however, must live in the flesh. And here in the flesh our fathers (even the man who wrote that bit about considering one day holier than another) worship on the first day of the week as dimanche, domingo, dies Domini. And we celebrate Christmas on Dec 25. If some don't want to, that is free. But surely it would also be against the law of Christian love for a Christian boss to disregard his brother's wish to worship on Dec 25 and require poor ol' Bob Cratchet to come in as usual - to require him to regard Dec 25 as just another day while he wishes to keep it as more holy than others.
At any rate...this came to mind as I had some trouble scheduling liturgical assistants for this Wednesday. It would seem that some required workshop or another at one of our Synod's institutions of higher learning could find no other night than January 6. Nothing going on that night anyway.
Perhaps this is just the last indication that the celebration of non-Sunday festivals is dead. Epiphany, Ascension....how long before Christmas is transferred to a Sunday regularly?
Again: all this is free in Christ. But I can't help thinking that an important battle of priorities has been lost nonetheless. I don't think it's Gospel freedom that's driving this...though it will no doubt be used as an excuse.