“We live in Mary’s time”

Dear friends in Christ,

“Best” Christmas writing. In 2001, Time Magazine named Stanley Hauerwas “America’s best theologian.” With humility and a quick Texan wit, Hauerwas replied “‘Best’ is not a theological category.” Perhaps not, but he has certainly produced what I find to be some of the best theological writing on Christmas. In these bustling few days before the Nativity, I refer you to the text of a sermon he gave in 2013 titled, “Mary, Mother of God; or, Learning how to tell time.”

“That Mary is the Mother of God means we do not begin with speculative accounts about God’s existence or nature. Our God is to be found in Mary’s womb. Because our God is to be found in Mary’s body we believe that same God desires to be taken in by us in this miraculous gift of the holy Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ. By partaking of this gift, a gift that if pondered leads us to ask with Mary, ‘How can this be?’ But the gift makes the question possible, because through this gift we become participants in a time that is filled with God’s providential care of us. We are Christians. We live in Mary’s time.”

Indeed we do. It is a pleasure and a privilege to live in Mary’s time with all of you as we seek to continue to explore the great mystery of God’s love for us.

Benedictine spirituality. The Very Rev. Dr. Steven Peay, Dean and President of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, returns to Saint Thomas on Sunday, January 8, 2017, at 10 a.m. Following up on a lecture he gave to the parish last year, Dean Peay offers reflections on the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-550), as well as the Rule of Saint Benedict, which the abbot penned for the monks in his charge.

Beasts. The beast from the sea; the beast from the earth. January 15 is a beastly day at Saint Thomas, as the Sunday class considers Revelation chapter 13. The class meets at 10 a.m. on the fifth floor. If the number of attendees is “six hundred threescore and six” I may be quite worried.

No Sunday class December 25 and January 1. Note that the Sunday class is not held on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. There is one worship service at 11 a.m. on each of those days: the Solemn Eucharist of the Nativity on December 25 and a Festal Eucharist for the Feast of the Holy Name on January 1. However, the Bible Study of the Gospel of Luke, held on Fridays at 12:45 p.m., continues without interruption.

The Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class has its first session on January 17, 2017. The class is especially designed for those who want to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. But it is also for anyone who is interested in learning more about Jesus Christ, and the doctrine and traditions of the Church.

Yours in Christ,
Joel