During our series where we talked about habits that shape our heart for God, I came to the realization that our calendars shape us to love and worship things of our culture and society more so than shaping our love and longing for God. Over the years, I’ve been fascinated by the rhythms of the Christian calendar and how it has the potential to guide the hearts of those who pay attention to it. If you’re like me, you probably had no idea that there was a Christian calendar.
While the idea of commemorating major Christian days throughout the year may seem foreign, these Christian practices have their roots in the Jewish calendar where they celebrated God’s actions in their history. Jesus participated in these festivals and even recommissioned the Passover feast to be our Lord’s Supper practice. The celebrations of Passover and Pentecost, established by God in the Old Testament, were fulfilled by Christ. The early Christians celebrated the life of Christ with feasts at different points in the year to remind them of the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. These celebrations create rhythms in life that continually focus our hearts towards God.
Think about the secularization of Christmas. I’m talking about the “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas” debate per se. What is the major focus for this season? What does that have to do with the birth of Jesus? We don’t know for sure when Jesus was born but Christianity has set aside this time to celebrate the fact that God chose to become like one of us, being born of a woman, becoming an infant, being raised as a child, and showing us what it means to be fully human. God loves us that much that he chose to become like us that we might become like him. Isn’t that worth celebrating?!
Our intention for doing Advent together as a Church is to refocus on what it means to wait on God. Advent is a time of hope, peace, joy, and love. Waiting is hard but the one we wait for is good and just. Our hope is that you will engage in these conversations at home with your kids, together as couples, and with other believers as we go through this season together. This Sunday is the beginning of Advent and Cody will be preaching on hope. Each day of Advent, Cody and I will send out our reflections for each day’s Gospel reading. Each Sunday sermon will be looking forward to the Gospel readings for the days ahead.
Katie provided us with an Advent resource for kids. There will be printed copies available on Sunday or you can print it off by clicking this link.
Cody and I are reading through a daily reflection together by NT Wright called Advent for Everyone: Luke. You can find it here.
I found this blog helpful for understanding the basic layout of the Christians calendar: Click Here
The list of daily Gospel readings can be found here.