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In Praise of the Non-Day 1 December 2013

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Humour, Life, Ponderings, Theology, Time.
Tags: , , , ,

According to my watch, today is the 31st of the month. That would make it Sunday 31st of November, no less. It joins other august Non-Days, such as the 30th & 31st February, 31st April and the 31st of June. It makes one wonder what other Non-Days might exist. For example, I remember reading many years ago in some of my RPG-related material the story that St Geoffrey was the patron saint of thieves, on the ground that he didn’t exist. In which case it would be most appropriate for his day to April 31st.

Sadly I suspect there is now a St Geoffrey! Consulting my big (Roman Catholic) Book of Saints (Cassell, 1989) reveals three entries: the Abbot otherwise known as Agofredus (June 21th), Abbot Ceolfrid using the Norman form of the name (Sept 25th) and as a general alternative name for the various Saints Godfrey. Even “Thieves, Reformed” (presumably as opposed to “Thieves, Roman Catholic!”) have their own saint, Saitn Dismas (March 25th)

But why this whimsical take on the world, anyway? Simply because I can. Because as a Role-Player maybe I’m a little more attuned to what’s not there (even if less socially-acceptable than the conspiracy theorist, who is perpetually seeing things that aren’t there! Although some of my friends might well apply that accusation to my Christian faith).

Nevertheless, the whimsical aside, today will still remain something of a Non-Day, a Sunday without a trip to church this morning. This is not due to deliberate boycott, or a dislike of Advent Sunday, but simply a very late night for the family at the Kettering Symphony Orchestra Concert last night.

Of course, as this stream-of-consciousness blog proceeds, I am aware that for many today really is a Non-Day. In a culture that grows further divorced from the traditions and patterns of Christian faith (some of which my not be as healthy or useful as others, granted) not just the day of Advent Sunday, but the entire season, has become a non-entity, lost beyond the language of novelty countdown calendars.

This makes the reading from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life that is set for the day really rather appropriate:

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24: 36-44).

Maybe indeed this makes Advent Sunday a Non-Day worthy of praise.

Almighty God,
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the
light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

(The Alternative Collect for Advent Sunday).



1. Phil Hibbs - 2 December 2013

Non-days are sacred to Aneris, of course.

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