If we lean in closely and start to listen carefully, beyond the busy routines of each week, we might hear someone mention the flurry of events in the weeks to come. In one moment we are tending to normal tasks and business as usual and then in the next breath we look down at the calendar and see the days of Thanksgiving and Christmas standing right in front of us. We start to make our lists and to plan these weeks with precision, wondering how we will get everything done. [pullquote_right width=”50%”]We mark our days by the rhythm of our faith, allowing the events in the life of Jesus and the routines of the Church to impact how we keep time.[/pullquote_right]
Our task each year is not to overshoot these days, but rather to live into them, which we find assistance for developing such a thoughtful, prayerful, hopeful rhythm in life in the seasons of the Church Year. The calendar of the Church Year shapes all of our other calendars. We mark our days by the rhythm of our faith, allowing the events in the life of Jesus and the routines of the Church to impact how we keep time.
At the end of November before we pack up the car to go and visit family for the celebration of Thanksgiving, we will gather on the last day of the Church Year, November 24, Christ the King Sunday. The calendar culminates in recognizing Christ as King, which slows us down in the midst of gathering with our loved ones as well as giving thanks for the goodness of life. Gathering on this Lord’s Day also shapes our gratitude in our thanksgivings, remembering the grace of God in the midst of life and what it means to return thanks.
As we peer over the celebration of Thanksgiving andbefore we rush into the joy of Christmas, we also find slower days in the season of Advent. We find that long pause of the Church, which calls us to live into these days without loosing ourselves in them. Before we have a chance to succumb to the frenzy of activities in December, we are reminded of our true preparation for the birth of Christ. We began that seemingly long journey of Advent, awaiting the hope, peace, joy, and love of God, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. In the midst of the constant activity of this time of year, we try to listen deeply and to embrace wholly the meaning of these days. We remember the highest hopes and the deepest longings of our calling as a church.