This Week: February 3 - 7

Published: February 2, 2014

The weeks in the liturgical year after the “Baptism of Our Lord” and before Ash Wednesday are epiphanous weeks of expanding light and illumination. Lectionary texts during this Ordinary Time invite worshippers and preachers to explore Jesus’ identity and Christian identity. The liturgical color for these weeks is green, a sign of hope and growth. 

We are now three weeks into the Spring Term. These initial weeks of the semester share with Ordinary Time an emphasis on growth, illumination, and exploration. We also wait with some measure of longing for the new greens and growth of another springtime. Perhaps portions of the lectionary texts for Sunday, February 2, 2014, can provide reflective lenses through which we can consider our work and identities as students, theologians, and religious leaders during these early days during the spring term:

Micah 6:6-8

‘With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before God with burnt-offerings,
with calves a year old? 
Will God be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’

God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? 

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Note: Some traditions celebrate Candlemas on February 2–the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The Gospel story in Luke that marks this feast tells of Mary and Joseph presenting the infant Jesus at the temple 40 days after his birth. This liturgical moment, too, emphasizes Jesus’ identity and what that meant and means for people who recognize God’s presence in Jesus’ life and story.

 

Seminar on Non-Violent Social Change

Interested in dedicating a week of evenings to exploring themes of civil rights and social justice? The Seminar on Non-Violent Social Change seeks to aid justice advocates develop skills and gain historical perspective for advancing current social issues in their communities. The Seminar will be held February 17-20, 2013 in Farrell Hall from 6-9pm each evening. Selected participants will be expected to attend every night of the seminar as well as several pre-seminar screenings of “Eyes On The Prize”. Find out more and apply to participate now.

 

Academic News

Summer School: The summer school schedule is available to review online. Note that several classes require Permission of Instructor (POI) and may require a separate application or registration. For more information on summer school opportunities, please contact Susan Robinson in the Office of the Academic Dean and read about the advantages of summer coursework here.

 

>> View the full edition of This Week online.

 

Blessings for the week ahead,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

 

 

 

Photo by Ken Bennett, WFU Photographer