Driving in this morning the local radio station reported that America's recession has spread globally to what is now a world recession. In particular, Japan's automakers are reporting disappointing revenue and layoffs are imminent. If I remember correctly, a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. In other words, the economy is going backwards instead of forward.
This takes me back to the first day of liturgy class in seminary. The professor, obviously responding to a pet peeve, said "We do not recess at the end of the service. We process out!" That was news to me because every bulletin I had read to that point said "Recessional Hymn" or "The Recessional." There is a theological point to be made, he said. We are not walking backwards or moving backwards – we are always moving forward. Every time we leave worship we are stepping out going forth in the world, never backwards.
In the midst of a global move backwards the Body of Christ is called to show what it means to process in the midst of a recess. How can we move someone or some situation forward today?
"…forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:13-14
PS: I received several emails about yesterday's email concerning the self-examination. A note about that: self-examinations are tools to show us our need for God. It is not supposed to be a checklist that one must complete before receiving communion – just the opposite, it is supposed to show us how much we need Christ in the Eucharist.
Fr. Steve Rice
Rector, St Timothy's Episcopal Church