On seasons

April 8th, 2019

As a sports fan, the beginning of April is an exciting time. As the month begins, March Madness leads into the spectacle of the Final Four, the first pitches of Opening Day signal the beginning of the baseball season, and professional basketball and hockey enter the home stretch into their exciting playoff seasons. There is always something going on. There is always something to look forward to.

It’s also an important time in the church calendar as the reflective and somber days of Lent prepare Christians for the intensity of Holy Week and, ultimately, the unrivaled celebration of Easter. Whether you’ve been fasting during the Lenten season or using daily devotionals to focus your mind, everyone is quickly moving toward its apex in these last days before Easter.

There’s something special about these seasonal rhythms and flows that we repeat year after year, whether they are related to sports or the Christian calendar. Both provide us with a way to mark time as we move through the years. They give us an opportunity to look back and think about how we’ve changed, how we’ve grown, and where we want to go in the future. More importantly, they give us an opportunity to gather with our communities and become closer to each other.

The Christian calendar is particularly adept at helping us remember the story of our faith year after year. Each year begins with the anticipation of Advent leading to the miraculous story of Christmas and then the wonder of Epiphany. From there we move into the somber reflection of Lent until the astonishing mystery that is Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Finally, we’re reminded of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost before shifting into Ordinary Time. Think about that, the Christian calendar doesn’t just remind us of the highs and lows, it reminds us that it’s also important to just be ordinary.

As you read a Lenten devotional or take part in the rituals of Holy Week and Easter, think about what it means to tell ourselves this story over and over again and how the rhythms of the Christian faith help us grow closer and closer to God.

This article was first published at Christian Living in the Mature Years.

About the Author

Ben Howard

Ben Howard  is a lead editor for Teaching and Learning Resources at The United Methodist Publishing House. He read more…
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