Was a Pandemic in Your Planner?
I like planners. I use an electronic calendar, but only in tandem with my paper one. And I’m not alone, judging by the wide and ever-expanding planner market. But a planner doesn’t stir my soul. A planner doesn’t really guide me; the information I put into it does that. A planner is helpful, and does what it’s supposed to do, but it’s just a tool, and it’s up to me to write the story.
If we look at the church calendar like a planner, we’ll find it dull and lifeless. But if we see the story already written in the seasons, we’ll find ourselves caught up in wonder and awe, in the majesty and mystery of the Triune God; who He is and His plan for all of creation. This calendar starts the church year with Advent, beginning this Sunday and lasting 4 weeks.
Advent means “coming”, and throughout the centuries has pointed believers to look back to and celebrate Christ’s coming to earth so that they (we) could more fully focus on living a life of preparing for His coming again in glory. Christ has come, Christ will come again! And when we explore the themes of Advent—Hope, Peace, Joy, and Salvation—we look at each of these things in light of what they say about God’s work in the world.
We read passages from the Old Testament, while Israel was waiting for a coming Savior, and the New Testament, celebrating His arrival, looking ahead to His return. Advent orients us to live our lives not for the next date on our planner, but as a vital character in a story of absolute and ultimate history and hope, when Christ’s kingdom is fully established and truly All Will Be Well.
Advent guides us to know with certainty that every day of our lives is somehow important to participate in that kingdom. God’s purpose is not hidden, and the church calendar tells His plan over and over again, because events like pandemics come along and disorient us at times, and we need to be reminded on a constant basis—at least I do.
Join us for Advent, beginning this Sunday, and invite a friend who’s looking for hope and a place to belong. Join us for online Adult Ministry afterwards to more fully enter into the Advent themes. In between Sundays, use an Advent wreath to be mindful of Christ’s second coming in light of His first. And check out this Advent resource to enter into Advent with family of any age.
Moving together through Advent into the remarkable love of Jesus Christ,