The Church Calendar: Jesus’ Life and Ours

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that the Church Calendar follows the life of Jesus and tries to cover nearly the full range of human experiences. Today I want to unpack that a little bit.

The Life of Jesus in the Church Calendar

When we say that, we’re not just talking about Jesus’ earthly life. The calendar covers the whole existence of the Son of God all the way from eternity past to his future and eternal rule and reign.

  • We begin the Church Calendar with Advent. We feel the world’s darkness that existed before God ever came among us in Jesus, and we anticipate and cry out for his arrival, preparing for it in hope.
  • In Christmas, we generously celebrate that God did come as a child in Jesus and the time of his work on earth has begun.
  • Epiphany reflects on Jesus’ entire life and ministry and how it revealed the light of God to all people. We meditate on how we might reflect that ministry and light in the world today.
  • Lent focuses on sin and mortality as we follow Jesus to the cross.
  • But in Easter, we feast and sing that Jesus rose and that we live in light of this resurrection today.
  • Pentecost invites us to reflect on the intimacy of Jesus’ own Spirit within us, the gifts in our communities, and the global scope of God’s work in the world through his Spirit in us in the world.
  • That blurs into Ordinary Time, which reminds us that Jesus’ work today is quiet, and how so much of faith is lived in the mundane rhythms of time.
  • And lastly, Kingdomtide has us dwell on Christ’s kingship rule for today and eternity, and its implications for our justice work in this world now.
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