The Christian Year is the church’s way to live in salvation history in a macro pattern that forms us over time. It provides a framework for the continuous telling of God’s story and its connection to the seasons of creation and to our identity as a baptized community.
The year begins with Advent, a season of waiting, reflection, and hope.
Advent forces us to face the coming winter. To cease, to wait, to slow down, and to pay attention is difficult when freezing temperatures keep us inside and evening comes quickly. It is hard to keep the promise alive when nature hibernates.
Yet, Advent comes, it unfolds. Week after week we mark the next Lord’s Day, and proclaim again and again “Come, Lord Jesus.”We are waiting in hopeful expectation that Jesus will come again, this time to set all things right, to bring to completion God’s reign of love, justice, and peace; salvation coming to it’s fullness!
Wanting Jesus to come is recognizing our need for a savior. Something is not right with the world, all of creation barren begging to blossom and grow. Violence, oppression, and death a prevalent theme in headlines around the world. We too might sense the angst, our list, plans, and busyness not providing for our much needed hunger. Our story’s shadow visiting again, hopelessness settling in; “From whom will my help come?”
Here grace begins to unfold. Without even realizing it the Holy Spirit raises our awareness, turns our lament towards heaven, reminds us that a way to freedom, to healing, to salvation, has been paved.
This season I invite you to not get distracted by the attempts around us to sell us a synthetic Spring, an empty hope, and salvation by buying power. Let’s gather around the light of Christ, remembering the story of our faith, and waiting actively together for the day when all of creation will experience the salvation of our God!