“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves. (Eugene Peterson)
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the season of Advent and the start of a new liturgical year. So in-between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the people of God can celebrate Liturgical New Year’s Day!
In Living the Christian Year, Bobby Gross explains that the Christian year entails a sequence of days and seasons that correspond to the major events of the life of Jesus. The beginnings of the “liturgical” calendar date back to the earliest centuries of the church and the purpose of following the rhythms of the Christian year is to center our individual lives and our life together in the Church around the life of Jesus Christ. Gross outlines three cycles that comprise the Christian year:
- The Cycle of Light: From Advent through Epiphany we celebrate the light of God coming into the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
- The Cycle of Life: From Ash Wednesday (which marks the beginning of Lent) through Easter we celebrate the redeeming life of Jesus Christ.
- The Cycle of Love: From Pentecost through Ordinary time we focus on our shared love for God and our sacrificial love for God’s world.
How will you mark the beginning of a new liturgical year?