Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Church Calendar

I'm a big fan of the church calendar. Growing up in evangelical circles, I hadn't even heard of the church calendar until seminary.  But since then I find the idea of matching our rhythms with the rhythms of the Church - both contemporary and ancient - deeply meaningful.  The church calendar constantly brings us back to the story of Jesus - rejoicing at his birth and anticipating his return during Advent, preparing for his death during Lent, celebrating his resurrection during Easter, and obeying his commission during Pentecost. And there is Ordinary Time, which is actually far from ordinary, because it reminds us that God is always inbreakingly present, in every circumstance of our lives, even when it seems monotonous. 

Advent is the beginning of the new church year, so if you are not familiar with the church calendar, now is a great time to consider it.  Here are a few pieces to read to get you started:

My friend Mark Roberts is in the middle of an introductory series on the liturgical year 

I love this Advent reflection by Rob Bell at RELEVANT

I've been using Bobby Gross' book Living the Christian Year for the past few months and I absolutely love it.  I'm going to post a quote from this book sometime during the Advent season.

Also check out The Circle of Seasons by Kimberlee Ireton

What's your experience of the church calendar? Do you have other resources you recommend?