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In the Year of Our Lord

June 9, 2020

“Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

2020. What a year, right?

But for all the challenges we are facing, this isn’t just 2020. It is AD 2020. We are Anno Domini 2020, in the year of Our Lord 2020. Common usage today has moved from AD to CE (Common Era) in order to have a more inclusive designation. Which is all well and good for writing academic papers or reporting the news. As Christians, however, it certainly makes sense to mark time since Christ was born of Mary (and yes, I know that the year we mark as 0 is probably a few years off). As Christians, we know that because Christ came, and specifically because of his death and resurrection, all years, all times, have been reclaimed by and for God. Even 2020.

Fun fact: The Anno Domini dating system was popularized by St. Bede who, along with fellow British monks Columba and Aidan, is commemorated today as a Renewer of the Church. Bede, who died in AD 735, was a Bible translator, scholar of scripture, and is regarded as the “Father of English History.” In 731 he completed his masterful Ecclesiastical History of the English People (it’s good! I read it in college for my Old English class; I did not master Old English, which has virtually nothing to do with the English we speak today; the only word I remember is gebeorscipe, which roughly translates as “beer hall,” but I digress). He also wrote “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing!” (Lutheran Book of Worship 157), so he’s still helping us sing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Venerable Bede helped bring the gospel to the people of England in their own language, recorded the history of the faith, and still today reminds us that every year is a year that of the Lord. Your favorite gebeorscipe may or may not be open for business yet, but I think it’s worth raising a glass to Bede!

2020 is a year that belongs to the Lord, and the Lord’s not done yet.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of the years, you were before us, are with us, and will come to meet us. In these challenging times, help us remember that you have already written the end of the story through Jesus Christ. Trusting the future to you, let us witness to your love today in our own land and language. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Last Chapter, by James Doyle Penrose (1902), dejecting the Venerable Bede translating the Gospel of John on his deathbed (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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