Happy New Year!

You may not realize it but Sunday will mark the beginning of the new year. So… Happy New Year!

According to the Christian calendar and in keeping with our historical Christian tradition, this Sunday is the beginning of the new year. And not only the new year but it’s the first Sunday of Advent, where we become mindful of the coming of God.

The reason this may be unfamiliar is that some groups of Christians have paid little attention to Christian history with its tradition, including the Christian calendar. If that’s the case, where does that leave us? Without the Christian calendar, the only calendar telling us the seasons and dates is the secular Western calendar which our lives are oriented around more than we realize. In terms of Christian or gospel formation, without the Christian calendar we are formed only by secularism as it pertains to how we live in response to the seasons of the year.

The late Charles Taylor described Western society as so enmeshed in secularism that a transcendent reality can only be seen like rays of light peeking through a cloud. Perhaps then it’s of little surprise that people, Christians included, have become so oriented around consumerism, nationalism/tribalism, and technology. All the more reason why we must give more attention to the Christian Calendar and to the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, and Ordinary Time or what some refer to as Kingdom Time.

Does this mean that our secular calendars are all bad or without value? Of course not! There are days on the secular calendar worth remember, like Thanksgiving which we will celebrate tomorrow. However, giving our attention to the Christian Calendar allows God to form our imaginations and worldview even more so around the gospel story as told throughout the biblical narrative. One way of doing this is reading the scripture readings that are listed in the Revised Common Lectionary for every week of the Christian Calendar.

So I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. More importantly though, Happy New Year! Advent is upon us, so let us turn our attention to the coming of God. For our God, who became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus, will one day come again and make all things new!

3 responses to “Happy New Year!

  1. Careful, Advent is a man-made tradition evolving from Catholicism. Jesus preached and warned about aligning to man-made traditions. And Advent isn’t Biblical. God Bless.

    • Is Advent a man-made tradition? Or is it possible that God was providentially at work among the historical church of that day bringing about the tradition that gave us Advent, just like God was providentially at among the historical church of that day bringing about the tradition that gave us a fixed canon of scripture we now call Bible?

      Your pejorative view of church tradition as “man-made” doesn’t take into consideration the work of God within history. I think I understand because I too once believed that such tradition was man-made because that’s what I was taught by others. But I would challenge you to consider the possibility that God may actually be at work in the development of such tradition. Consider how we now have a biblical canon of 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books? The canonical decision was ultimately a decision of the historical church, so does that mean it’s a man-made tradition? Not for us who have the faith to see God providentially at work? Of course, not every tradition is of God… some traditions may in fact be man-made. However, when you understand what the function of the Christian Calendar and the function of anticipating the coming of God (Advent), then I hope you might at least consider that both are in fact gifts from God to help us keep our sense of time oriented around the gospel rather than just a secular world.

  2. Wish you happy new year 2017 in advance

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