And thus a new year begins! Well, for those who use the church calendar, not really. If you use the church year as your reference, your year started with the first Sunday of Advent.
I decided, some time ago, to seek to live my life on the basis of the church year. Why would I want to do this? First, by starting with Advent, my focus is upon perhaps the most important event in human history, God becoming one of us. And while the death and resurrection of Jesus are at the center of human history, the profound truth of one of the most beloved truths of the Bible found in John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Jn. 3:16 ESV)
is made real in the coming of Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the ever-virgin Mary, God incarnate, Emmanuel, into our world as one of us.
The other reason for my deciding to live life on the basis of the church year is to remind me that God rules this world. I find it more rewarding to measure time, duration, on the basis of the events of the life of my Lord, the historic actions of God in history and those who have lived exceptional lives of faith.
I believe it is a good thing to have days of celebration that are inclusive of all faiths and philosophies. However, in a world in which too many have made faith simply an option of life rather than the center of life, I want to do all I can to maintain an active awareness for the reason I am alive and why.