Marking The Days That Have Marked Us
Everyone has certain dates that are charged with meaning. Consider children and birthdays or wives and wedding anniversaries. Then there’s baseball fans and opening day, accountants and April 15th. September 11, 2001 – we all remember where we were on that day. Days and even entire seasons can become filled with significance. They can become sanctified, meaning set aside, from all other days and times. This is what it means to have a holiday (holy day) or holiday season.
The Church calendar is built upon this common human experience of time.
As Christians we believe that God has entered time in the birth of Jesus Christ. That day in human history is significant enough to celebrate every year. There are other days in Jesus’ life that carry great meaning too – the day he was baptized, the day he was transfigured, the day he washed the disciples feet, and especially the days on which he died and rose again from death. These are 9/11-type days for Christians because what happened on those days changed our lives forever: God acted redemptively on our behalf, setting our lives inside of the greater context of His actions.
In other words “we can inhabit God’s story” and in turn “have it inhabit and change us.” (Those quotes also come from Bobby Gross, author of Living The Christian Year.) This book has significantly shaped my thoughts and convictions about not simply the liturgical year but more centrally what it means to “identify with Jesus and vicariously participate in his life in a way that brings spiritual dividends to our own.” So I offer this book to you as a resource for answering questions about our church’s worship (why we will have an Ash Wednesday service this year, for example), the church calendar, spiritual formation, and more.
Living The Christian Year is available for purchase on Sundays at our book table, right beside the complimentary coffee and doughnuts.