Dear friends at Epiphany,
By now, we’re all familiar with what’s been called “pandemic time,” a sense that time feels different these days. Time seems more fluid, and the days seem to run together; there is something disorienting about it all. It’s not that time itself has changed; rather, our perception of time has changed. However we experience time, we live our lives within its bounds and we mark its passage in various ways – the calendar year, the academic year, the fiscal year.
Yet as Christians, we live not by the calendar year or the fiscal year but by the church year. The church year is all about Jesus – his humble birth in a stable in Bethlehem; his suffering and death on the cross; his glorious resurrection from the dead; his promised gift of the Holy Spirit; and the inexhaustible depth of his teachings and ministry. Each time we gather for worship, the lessons, the hymns, the prayers, the colors in the sanctuary all signify a season in the life or teachings of Jesus. In a world that can be disorienting, the church year orients us to Jesus and helps us stay close to him and his way of love.
The church year always begins on the First Sunday of Advent, which this year will be on November 29th. I hope that in the midst of “pandemic time,” the start of a new church year offers you an anchor in a turbulent sea and a compass to guide you to still waters. Let the seasons of this new church year help you stay close to Jesus and encourage you to extend his love into the world.
Yours in Christ,