You need two calendars.
Did you know we just passed through a New Moon? It was on the 18th. Most of us who passed through Western Christianity struggle with the lunar calendar. Yet it’s quite clear the Old Testament put quite a lot of emphasis on the lunar cycle. There were ritual observations of it. But it’s not a question of lunar versus solar calendars; both were tracked. A critical element of this was the provision of God:
And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and the night. And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth. (Genesis 1:14-15 MKJV)
In other words, it’s so you’ll know what to expect. So it’s on you to pay attention; otherwise you are the one who suffers. Your testimony of shalom depends on this.
On the one hand, you could reduce it down to established science and know that there are complex-yet-subtle effects on human existence. You already know about ocean tides, I’m sure. Mariners pay a lot of attention to the lunar cycle for that reason; it’s a matter of gravity. They also pay attention to the slight variation in the moon’s distance from the earth as it travels in an elliptic orbit. Gravity pulling from two directions will affect the tides and it will most certainly affect your body. Again, it can be quite subtle, but quite real.
For example, if women paid attention to it, they would find God blesses them in various ways regarding their menstrual cycles. And while it’s more subtle for men, our bodies do respond to the lunar cycle with variations in different kinds of energy and rest.
On the other hand, the Bible offers substantial warnings not to turn this into another religion, as if the sun, moon and stars were deities. Don’t worship the creature, but the Creator. And I note in passing that while the stellar cycles do signal something to us, it’s not because the stars have much of a direct effect like the sun and moon. Pay attention to the messengers, but don’t bow down to them.
I’ll be honest: I’m not really good with this stuff. I have a hard time paying attention to what time of day it is, much less all the other stuff going on. There’s a good reason for that — I have a very prominent internal prophetic regime — but it doesn’t change what God has done and what He demands of us. I wish we had a trustworthy source on this, because no one of us can do it all.
So this raises another major problem we have to face here in our virtual parish. In a real physical parish, we would have different folks with different divine callings who would contribute their gifts and blessings to the common welfare of the parish. It’s not as if we would issue swords of any kind with powers of enforcement, but that each member would contribute something useful, and others could take what they needed. We can emulate that to some degree in our virtual parish, but it’s not the same.
Still, if someone in our circle of members felt led to keep track of the lunar cycles and such with a respect to Biblical traditions, it would sure make life better for all of us. There is no good widget for this that I can install to the blog interface, and I don’t want to entangle this blog with someone else’s tracker schemes. But the point here is that if you have a specialty site or blog that can contribute to the common welfare of our parish, I’d love to know about it. That covers the whole range of things we need to pursue Biblical Law and shalom.
Final note: We aren’t slaves to what came before. The Old Testament is not directly binding in the sense of ritual law, but is indicative in the sense of parable. We need to discover the blessings and promises as they apply in our context with all the crap that belongs to our age. There is a lot of silly nonsense, and some quite legalistic, offered out there on the Net about this very issue of lunar calendaring. Learn, but follow your own heart.