Let’s Start the New Year Right
Perhaps you’d thought that I’d let the anniversary of Uncle Frog pass, that I was just going to let this new year pass as I’d let pass All Hallowed Eve, Armistice Day, and Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps you’d thought that, unlike my first post, the plethora of Christmas advertizements starting the day after Hallowe’en had gotten to me and I had given up.
I will admit that that last musical interlude was not so brief, and I wouldn’t blame you if you’d given up on ever hearing from me again, but today starts a new year, so Savior Rend the Heavens Wide and let’s start the new year right.
There have been many things about which I’ve wanted to write the last quarter including: how Yale killed my cat, moving to New Haven, living in a Douglas Orr apartment, or how the American Legion in Hamden Connecticut had no poppies to sell for Armistice Day. I could also write my great list of places at which I will not shop and products I will not be purchasing because they started “holiday” advertizing long before Advent.
Instead I want to ease back in to writing. I want to take the opportunity of a double new year (both dominical and sanctoral) to start getting things in order, to start the new year right, but quiet meditations on the peace of the winter to come, or the expectation of the baby Jesus with warmth and kindness, are not what is called for. Rather, what is called for, is the rending of the heavens as was read in Church today:
Oh that thou wouldest rent the heauens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountaines might flowe downe at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boyle: to make thy Name knowen to thine aduersaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence. When thou diddest terrible things which wee looked not for, thou camest downe, the mountaines flowed downe at thy presence. For since the beginning of the world men haue not heard, nor perceiued by the eare, neither hath the eye seene, O God, besides thee, what hee hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou meetest him that reioyceth, and worketh righteousnesse, those that remember thee in thy wayes: behold, thou art wroth, for we haue sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saued. But we are al as an vncleane thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy ragges, and we all doe fade as a leafe, and our iniquities like the wind haue taken vs away. And there is none that calleth vpon thy name, that stirreth vp himselfe to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from vs, and hast consumed vs because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, thou art our father: we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we all are the worke of thine hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquitie for euer: behold, see we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
Looking at a new sanctoral calendar year beginning on Saint Andrew’s Day, or the start of the dominical year with the commencement of Advent. I’m compelled away from the quiet contemplation of the drowsy-hearted, toward the active anticipation of one who knows that he will die. Wachet Auf! Be ready to accept the call as Andrew did.
Perhaps this is not easing into writing after all, but with the beginning of a new year so comes a bit of cleaning, including airing our thoughts. When we clean our clothes it’s the stick in the middle of the washing machine that does the work. That stick is called an agitator. The agitations that come with doing a bit of cleaning or of moving in to a new place are naught when compared to the agitations of the Advent of our Lord:
…in those dayes, after that tribulation, the Sunne shalbe darkned, and the Moone shall not giue her light. And the Starres of heauen shall fall, and the powers that are in heauen shall be shaken. And then shal they see the Sonne of man comming in the cloudes, with great power and glory. And then shal he send his Angels, and shall gather together his elect from the foure winds, from the vttermost part of the earth, to the vttermost part of heauen. Now learne a parable of the fig tree. When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaues, ye know that summer is neere: So ye in like maner, when ye shal see these things come to passe, knowe that it is nigh, euen at the doores. Uerely I say vnto you, that this generation shall not passe, till all these things be done. Heauen and earth shal passe away: but my words shall not passe away.
With this in mind, what is important? Yale killing my cat? A new life in a New Haven? A new apartment? Remembering Remembrance Day? All of the things I will not support for advertizing sake, and probably wouldn’t support any way?
I’ll take my cue from the collect for the day. I’ll be inspired by the prayer we read tonight as we light the first candle on our Advent wreath:
Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power, O Lord, and come, that by Thy protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Thy mighty deliverance; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God world without end.
I’ll start baking.
I’m sure that “Stir up” at the commencement of the collect refers to batter for baking.
And now a word from our sponsor:
Yes, I am aware that Saint Andrew’s Day is translated as Advent takes presidence. Now, wake up and get cooking! Jesus comes!