Dec
23

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Happy New Year, again! If you remember, I wished you all a “Happy New Year!” on November 30 at worship when the Church Year began. Since there were so many surprised looks, it occurred to me that maybe people are not as familiar with the Church Year as I thought. So here’s a quick refresher course to get your calendar year started with a good grasp of the divine drama that God unfolds for us through the Church Year.

It begins with Advent, a four Sunday period of waiting for the action to start. We prepare our hearts and our world for the coming of our Savior.

After eager anticipation Christmas finally comes when Jesus, the main character and hero, is born. Although He came for the whole world, some celebrated, and others tried to get rid of him; the same as our world today. The season is only twelve days long.

Then is the season of Epiphany on January 6. God reveals who Jesus is and why He has come. First the magi, wise men, come to worship him. In the next scene, Jesus is an adult being baptized by John, and God declaring, “This is my Son!” Miracles unfold, and Christ appears in glory at his Transfiguration.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and facing mortality. Jesus is confronted by the devil and engages the enemies, Satan and the forces of evil, as the action builds with one battle after another. Our hero is sometimes worn out in his humanity, but never defeated in his divinity. The season draws to a climax with Holy Week, and the Passion. On Maundy Thursday Jesus gives his disciples the first Holy Communion, commands them to love one another and serve as He has done. He is betrayed, arrested, tried, and on Good Friday crucified, died and buried.

The Resurrection of our Lord is the explosive miracle that turns the whole world up-side-down. Easter recounts Christ’s many resurrection appearances, and leads up to the Ascension when Jesus returns to his heavenly Father.

He makes himself available to us through the Holy Spirit sent on Pentecost to make believers and build his Church. This is the longest season of the Church Year, as the Word is spread and the Kingdom of God grows. The whole drama is repeated again, year after year, as God continues making himself known to us through his Son, Jesus, giving our lives purpose and hope.

So make it a Happy New Year by focusing your attention on the life of Jesus Christ and strengthening your relationship with him as Savior and Lord, and with his Church, to eternal life.

Pastor Kurt Wandrey