Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Intersection of Time and Eternity

Daily Readings
Psalm 5 Genesis 6 Isaiah 6 Acts 5

Daily Text: Isaiah 6

Intersection of Time and Eternity
Many are called, but few accept. Fewer are called who know the outcome to which their ministry leads. Isaiah is told. Your ministry extends until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and the land is utterly desolate, and until the LORD sends the people into exile. If only a tenth part remains that also will be eradicated. The text likens this last destruction to that of burning a stump after the tree has been felled. And finally there is a notion of hope, widely thought to have been added much later, indicating that even in a burned stump, new life is possible.
The call came in a vision of the LORD linked with the holy of holies and the temple. The link is composed of a vision of God in God’s holy place extending to the temple. The extension amounts only to the hem of his garment and that fills the temple, so great is the LORD. But it is this link that not only lends great power to this vision, but suggests a holy transcendence that reaches into time and creation. In the Christian vision, particularly that of the Eastern Orthodox, the rood screen separates chronos and kairos, the temporal from the eternal. Pass through the rood screen into the sanctuary and one stands in eternity where the sacrifice of Christ stands once for all in the redemption of humankind. It is that sort of vision we see in Isaiah 6. The LORD of the universe is seen at an intersection of the universal and the particular. It is a holy moment. Isaiah can do no other than say, “Here am I; send me.” Not that his freedom is abridged, but what would anyone say who is gazing on the LORD of the universe?

Where the Sun Ends
Peter Davison

“Eastward I go by force; but westward I go free.”—Thoreau: “Walking”

Mount. Leave your living to the wise.
Peel out, the highway’s for the sun.
Your eyes have pierced the state’s disguise,
Your journey has begun.

Shun shelter, offices, the maze
of striving. Genitals tell you true:
Children sing sweeter praise
than senators do.

What held you to the empty day,
the churlish functionary grind
where unclean lips beseech and bray
their sermons for the blind?

“A hissing tongue, a shuddering door,”
the prophets tell, the thrones attest.
Our hoarsened hymns ignite and roar,
our engines growl toward the West:

Here am I; send me.

Collect for the Day
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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