The Church Year
by Dr. Dan Sharp, Minister of Worship
In a few weeks we’ll observe the beginning of the season of Advent. You might ask, “isn't that just some ancient church tradition that’s left over from the more “liturgical churches?” After all, the Reformation ended all that sort of thing.
Actually the various observances of Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, grew out of the early Church.
The resurrection of Jesus occurred within the context of the Jewish feast of Passover. The coming of the Holy Spirit occurred at Pentecost, another of the Jewish feasts. Several of Jesus’ major teachings occurred within the context of the Feast of Tabernacles, another Jewish feast. Jesus clearly observed the various special days of the Jewish year and fulfilled their meaning through his own life.
The Church built upon that foundation so that the entire Church Year centers completely on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Every aspect of the Christian Year caused the congregations to focus on living the life of, and with Christ, throughout the year. It was one of the primary ways of teaching the faith to thousands and thousands of believers down through the ages.