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CHRISTIAN CALENDAR INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION TO THE CHRISTIAN CALENDAR

One of the most difficult tasks in life for many people is the simple art of maintaining focus on the most important things. Life is filled with demands, pressures, distractions, crises, and victories. Keeping “the main thing the main thing” can be a real and daily battle, regardless of our backgrounds or convictions.

The same is true for those who follow Jesus; He is worthy of our highest allegiance, devotion, and love. Yet, in our fast-paced world, many experience constant distractions and shifting priorities. Amid the busyness of everyday life, consumerism, materialism, anxiety, idolatry… other things can take priority over Jesus. It dulls the ability to view Jesus with clarity. While we may profess the truths of the gospel and desire to live in light of those truths, we too often find ourselves living for and chasing after countless other things.

Over this next year, we want to refresh our hearts, minds, and lives with a true and proper vision of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our goal is to intentionally seek a clear picture of His grace expressed powerfully and beautifully through the gospel. The Church Calendar, also called the Liturgical Year, provides a means for this focus. It has guided the worship of many believers over the centuries and continues to do so today. This calendar helps us lift our gaze from daily routines, often overwhelmingly influenced by culture, and sets a clear path to experiencing Jesus in every season.

We invite you to join us in participating in the ancient Church Calendar–Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time–to expand and mature your view of Jesus through Scripture study, guided prayer, family devotionals, small group opportunities, and weekend worship gatherings.

THE SEASONS OVERVIEW

ADVENT

Advent means “coming” and is a season to remember and celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ. It is a time to reflect on the story of Jesus’ birth and His incarnation into the world. For Christians in particular, it is a time to remember that Jesus will come again to establish His eternal kingdom, where unending peace with God is promised to all who have placed their faith in Christ. It begins with a period of waiting and longing in hope. Advent candles are lit to signify that the hope of the Church is built on the coming light of Jesus. This season ends on Christmas Day with the lighting of the Christ candle.

EPIPHANY

Epiphany means “shine upon” and is a time to reflect on the divine way in which Jesus Christ made Himself known throughout His earthly life and ministry. Being fully God and fully man, the glory of God was on full display in and through the person of Jesus Christ–His birth, baptism, miracles, and transformational teachings. Epiphany is a time of renewal and recommitment to the person of Jesus, as the glory of God the Father is revealed to humanity in the face of His Son, Jesus Christ.

LENT

Lent means “spring” and is a 40-day season remembering the temptation and death of Jesus Christ. It is marked in the Christian calendar as a time of fasting and prayer and ends with Holy Week. It is inspired by the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert overcoming temptation from Satan through the powerful Word of God. A time of self-examination and repentance, many believers choose to observe Lent by denying themselves specific pleasures during the season as a personal sign of submission, honor, and devotion to Jesus.

EASTER

Easter is the principal celebration of the church year both as a day and a season. For the believer, it is undeniably about the resurrection of Jesus. It has been called the Christian Passover, and it celebrates the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. This is a season of joy as sin, Satan, and death have been conquered through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. We can celebrate that His victory is shared by every believer that places their hope in Him and His resurrecting power.

PENTECOST

Pentecost, meaning “fiftieth,” is a season focusing on the work of the Holy Spirit within God’s people, the Church. The day of Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter and commemorates the coming of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church. It is a season of unity and prayer, as well as a time to tell the story of the gospel through the power of the Spirit.

ORDINARY TIME

This season stretches from Pentecost Sunday to the start of Advent. It is a time for the Church to reflect on the teachings of the Scriptures, pray, worship together, join in community, and share the goodness and grace of Jesus with a watching world.

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2 Comments

  1. Annie Daniell

    So thankful you came up with this idea!

    Reply
  2. Janet Holman

    So love this !!

    Reply

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