Today marks the first day of the new Christian year, the first day of Advent. This has never been a big deal in my life since it was never taught in church or school. Christmas…it was the 25th with a candlelight service on the 24th. Done. Many times there might be a sermon series that would flow through December but there was never an Advent connection. In public school there was little talk from the few practicing Catholics about what was going on but it was always vague.
When speaking to many who have grown up in US Evangelicalism, I hear the very same story. We have no understanding of the Christian calendar or what it represents. This has led me to start learning about the organization of the calendar year and what the historical church has taught regarding how we worship God in the midst of the seasons. There are many babies that have been thrown out while dumping the water over the previous centuries and one of those has been the Christian calendar.
As for me and my house…I want this to change.
There is much to be learned from history. There is much to be learned from those who have gone before and who have been proven worthy of our respect and honor. I know that idea scares many of us but we need to look to these people who have gone before and look to them for wisdom. This wisdom is not of their own but from God and we do not worship Him when we do not honor them.
I’m always having discussions with myself as to what Luther, Calvin and others would think of Christians of today. This is not to say that I wear a WWLutherD bracelet but I do wonder what he would say. Would he even recognize our gathered worship services? What would he say about our daily Scripture intake?
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Try following the Christian calendar for one year and see what happens. Today is the day to begin. Let us look forward to Christ.