He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end! – Ecclesiastes 3:11
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps! – Proverbs 16:9
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heave! – Ecclesiastes 3:1

THE CHURCH YEAR

Like creation itself, the ancient church has long observed the passage of time through various sacred seasons. God, after all, established an order for the passage of time by creating a pattern for days, weeks, seasons and years. This patterned order of time has also been observed by various rituals among people over the centuries as well. Some rituals are daily like meals, work, prayer and rest. Others are weekly like worship, sporting events or weekends off. And still others are yearly such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

It is clear from the Bible that God desires his people observe the passage of our limited time within the context of Jesus’ saving work through time. This is evident in how God commanded Ancient Israel to observe daily temple worship, weekly Sabbath rest and annual sacred festivals. Observances such as these helped the people of Israel understand their daily lives in light of the eternal significance of God’s creative and saving acts in time.

The ancient church continued to observe the passage of time through the seasons of the Church Year which helps us to view our daily lives constantly in light of God’s most powerful saving act of all; namely, the incarnation, life, suffering, death, resurrection and return of Jesus Christ. This annual pattern highlights for us the continual proclamation of the saving work of Jesus for all people and includes seasons that begin with Advent and continue through Christmas, Lent, Easter and more.

The purpose of the Church Year is intended to highlight the life of Jesus; His past and future work along with His current work in the life of the church. Nothing is more important to the life of the church than the life of Jesus. The ancient practice of following the Church Year testifies that the historical events in Jesus’ life continue to proclaim His salvation for us today!

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel! – Isaiah 7:14
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God”! – Isaiah 40:3
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son! – Hosea 11:1

ADVENT

Advent, which begins the observance of the Church Year, occurs from the Latin word for “coming,” and as such, describes the “coming” of Jesus into this world. Jesus’ coming reveals itself among us in three  distinct ways — as we remember His coming in the past at Christmas, presently in our daily lives through His Word, Baptism and Supper, and at His future return on the last day. During Advent, followers of Jesus remember that He has come and conquered sin at the cross, continues to work in our lives daily and will return for the fulfillment of His redeeming act at the end of all earthly time when He shall indeed be King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Master of all!

You are invited to join us as we anticipate His coming yet again through the seasons and stories of the Church Year, beginning with Advent, and finally at His return on that last and magnificent day!