February 25, 2015

A Meditation for the Wednesday Ember Day in Lent, 2015

Preacher:
Series: ,
Service Type:

Preacher: Benjamin Lee | Series: Guest Preacher, Lent

Today, Wednesday, together with Friday and Saturday of this week, make up the Lenten Ember Days. The Lenten Ember Days are in fact part of a fourfold cycle of Embertide seasons, so named after their Latin title in the ancient Church in Rome: Quatuor Tempora or “Four Seasons.” The history of these days of penitential observance is very old indeed, and harks back, on the one hand, to the prescription to the Israelites by the prophet Zechariah of a fourfold fast to consecrate the year to God (Zech. 8:19); it also seems to hark back, on the other hand, to the early Church’s tendency to co-opt pagan rites and festivals, in this case involving offerings to agricultural gods, and to convert them to Christian purposes. Thus from their origins the Ember Days are times of seasonal prayer, which coincide with and commemorate the start of the four natural seasons of the year: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. By so tying the liturgical year to the natural cycle of the year, the teaching of the Church reminds us that the salvation of God in Christ for the human creature cannot stand apart from his plan of salvation for the whole world that he has made, the universal creation: God’s reconciliation is indeed cosmic, and ultimately includes the consecration of all nature…

Download Files Notes