An odd coincidence today. At my first wedding, in an Episcopal church, the wedding mass included three readings. One of them was a Shakespeare sonnet, number CXVI, of course. But the other two readings were from that there Bible, one Old Testament and one Gospel. And those two are two of the readings today.
Not terribly surprising, I suppose, since both readings are about or mention somehow weddings. Not too surprising to have them at a wedding, then. And then not too surprising to find them on the same day in the Lectionary. But still, kinda funny.
And, lucky for me today I think, the first reading is a bit longer than the one my sister read thirteen years ago. This time it begins:
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
I naturally always like readings that mention Dawn.
But it’s the second reading today that really gets all the attention, mine as well as in the homily. It’s good old St. Paul, of course, writing to those Corinthians. (The first time.)
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
I don’t want to step into too much here, getting in way way over my head, but I like to think that maybe we’re all of us not too far apart, Christian & Muslim & Jew. And Buddhist & Hindu. Again, not that I know this from any teaching of the Church. Heck, I may be committing grand heresy here. But I like to think of all of the world, and their beliefs, as being different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same spirit. As different workings but the same God.
Maybe it’s from thinking so specifically about Islam and Christianity last night. But then also I go do some quick Wikipedia searching, trying first ecumenicalism. It redirects to simply ecumenism, which it says is usually used in reference only to Christian denominations. So maybe not exactly the word I’m wanting.
But it’s funny, as it says that the word ecumenism derives from the Greek oikoumene, which means the inhabited world. But it looks like and makes me think of Khomeini, as in Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, that nemesis of the United States from not too many years ago. He was born plain old Ruhollah Musavi in the town of Khomein in Markazi Province in Iran. He was Khomeini because he was from Khomein.
Is there some connection? The Greek word coming from the name of this particular town?
Seems more likely that the name of the place maybe came from the Greek word. Wikipedia tells me that oikoumene is the present middle participle of the Greek verb meaning to inhabit. Oikoumene means I inhabit. Definitely sounds like a place could come to be named that. Kind of a tautology, maybe, or more just sorta Who’s on First-ish.
Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in the place I inhabit.
And but so anyway. Even this little detour makes me feel like it’s all tied together somehow.