This Sunday we look forward to the Rogation Days of the Liturgical Calendar, the three days before we celebrate the Ascension. Each year on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Feast of the Ascension on the Fortieth Day of Easter, we celebrate the earthiness of the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus. We recall that in Jesus heaven came and touched earth and we lift our prayers that earth may touch heaven.
The Rogation Days are days of supplication. The name “rogation” stems from the Latin “rogare” - “to ask.” These are days in which we ask. In the fifth century Northern European agricultural origins of this celebration, these were seedtime prayers. In our twenty-first century American culture, we are accustomed to offering prayers of gratitude at harvest time as we celebrate Thanksgiving and perhaps even our daily practices of gratitude at mealtimes. However, we have largely lost the habit of praying for favorable weather and fruitful growth at the time of planting. If you are anything like me, supplication has become an emergency response rather than and intentional preparation, more “O God, help me! I’m in the middle of trouble and I don’t know what to do!” and less “O God, watch over and bless this project I am starting.”
The Rogation Days remind me to come back down to earth and recognize God’s sovereignty. I am reminded in these days to bring my awareness of God’s presence into the every day routines of my life and ask for blessing and provision.
The collect for Rogation Sunday reminds us of the way that God goes before us and with us in all things. I am reminded in this collect to celebrate the gift of Creation and to consider the ways we are called and tasked as stewards of God’s Creation.
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.