Advent Begins Tomorrow. Today Is The Last Day of the Christian Year. Should You Care?
From Mark D. Roberts
Tomorrow is the first day of Advent. In yesterday’s post, I encouraged you to get ready for Advent. Today, I want to think with you about the broader context in which Advent makes sense.
Today is the last day of the Christian Year, also known as the Liturgical Year or the Church Year. For those who follow the Christian Year, the latest one began last year on December 1, which was the first Sunday of Advent. We have moved steadily through Advent, Christmas Day, Christmastime, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday,Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Eastertide, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Christ the King Sunday, and a number of other holy days. The bulk of the year is Ordinary Time, not in that it is plain vanilla, but because it is “ordered.”
Should you care about any of this? Does it really matter?
This calendar, by the way, is built upon the person and work of Jesus Christ. Here are some examples of what I mean:
Advent: We prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ and anticipate his second coming.
Christmas: We celebrate the Incarnation of the Word of God, the birth of Jesus the Savior.
Epiphany: We remember the revealing of God through Christ to the whole world.
Ash Wednesday: We are reminded of our great need for a Savior.
Lent: We focus on the life of Jesus in preparation for Holy Week.
Palm Sunday: We celebrate the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
Maundy Thursday: We remember Jesus’ foot-washing and his command to love.
Good Friday: We worship Jesus who gave his life on the cross for us.
Easter: We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the victory of God.
Christ the King Sunday: We worship Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.
If we rightly understand the Christian Year, we will see it as a way to structure our lives in light of the life, ministry, and lordship of Jesus.
Mark, says it better than I can. I want to encourage you to read the full article and then join me in our church year journey.