Happy New Year!

On November 24, 2013 by Eddie

I didn’t grow up in a church that followed the Christian calendar. In fact, I didn’t even know such a thing existed until a few years ago. Somehow, I learned the pledge to the Christian flag (remember that?), but I never learned that Christians for hundreds of years have used a different calendar to tell time. Something about that seems a bit backwards, but I’m trying to make up for lost time.

So if you’re like me and this is news to you, today is the last Sunday of the Christian calendar; next Sunday is the first week of Advent, and the beginning of the “new year.” So, basically, this week is our New Year’s eve. Kind of like Chinese New Year or the end of the fiscal year, we’re on a completely different schedule – and this week is our celebration. Sounds interesting, for sure, but why is it important?

Following the Christian calendar helps us remember that life isn’t really about us. I get so caught up in my iCal appointments and daily to-do lists that I quickly begin thinking that I am the center of the universe. It’s crazy how easy it is for me to slip into a self-centered reality, and as the pace of life continues to get faster, I turn even more inward.

This is where the Christian calendar helps us, it helps us break out of our Google Calendar timelines and digital reminders and see the broader picture. It helps us slow down. For example, typically Christmas always sneaks up on us and we rush to get our shopping done at the last minute. Advent helps us slow down and think about the coming King for an entire month. If you follow this calendar, Christmas won’t sneak up on you again, and instead it will be a much richer celebration.

Dallas Willard brilliantly stated that “haste is the enemy of the spiritual life.” Walking through the Christian calendar together helps break us out of our hasty lives, and slow us down enough to see past what is physical until we can embrace a spiritual reality.

So how do we do it? How do we follow the Christian calendar? Well, there’s lots of great resources to help us, and we can share some of those in the comments below. But, one great place to start is the Advent Project, which begins next Sunday. Next week as a church The Parish will begin posting a series of Scripture readings, prayers, and devotionals that will help us begin focusing our hearts during this season of Advent. So if you want to stay tuned, subscribe to this blog, and join us next week as we celebrate the New Year and journey toward Christmas together.

 

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