Using the calendar to remember key dates is surely a part of our everyday lives, so it’s not unusual that it would help us in our life of faith. However, Church Calendars are not a big part of most Evangelicals faith and practice, although a solid part of both Protestantism and Catholicism through the centuries, as a way to “remember Me” as taught by Jesus Christ. Jewish calendars are based upon the many feasts and festivals the Lord commanded, again so His people would ‘remember’ what He did for them! We Christians concentrate, of course, on the Christian, or Church calendar, although we fully agree that understanding what the Lord did throughout Jewish history is part of Biblical teaching and therefore ‘sacred.’ We believe the entire Bible is Holy, and necessary for the practice of our faith.
The Lectionary is a calendar of the Church Year put together by Denominational leaders so that congregations across the country, and world, can be in unity, reading the same Biblical texts and remembering the same historical developments at the same time of year. The Pastors who ‘preach’ from the Lectionary benefit by having much of the textural research done for them so they can tailor the message to their own congregations. This is all good, I think, and pray that these sermons can bring life and peace to the Body of Christ.
While I do not use the Lectionary to develop sermons I do think ‘following’ the Church Calendar is beneficial to us, for reasons stated above. We need to remember Christ, and we benefit greatly by remembering the history leading up to His Advent here, His life here, His resurrection victory, and certainly what lies ahead , about which we have so many opinions and so little understanding! 🙂
The next weeks, leading to Easter (Resurrection Sunday) are the most concentrated dates on the Christian Calendar for the entire year. Our entire understanding of The Gospel rests upon the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who makes it possible for our salvation and eternity with God Almighty. Our Doctrines of Grace, Liberty, Atonement, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Salvation, etc., are complimented with the fulfillment of so much Biblical Prophecy about The Christ as Messiah found in the Old Testament!
Therefore, I ask you to concentrate on these next week’s by remembering Christ and His Love for you. Here are the key dates we will follow, whether formally or informally, providing you with both remembrance and a way to focus your devotions:
Feb 14, Ash Wednesday (and so it begins)
Feb 18, 1st Sunday in Lent (fasting, prayer, renewed devotion)
Mar 25, Palm Sunday (Celebration)
Mar 29, Maundy Thursday (foot washing) (last supper)
Mar 30, Good Friday (Why ‘good’?)
April 1st, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday (Victory in Jesus)