The Church Year divides into two halves. The first half, comprising the Christmas (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany seasons) and Easter (Lent, Holy Week, Easter seasons) cycles, focuses on the life of Jesus. It has all the major holidays.
The second half is the long haul of the Sundays after Pentecost, from June to Advent. It focuses on the Church living in the power of the Spirit. When I was a youth, I thought this half of the Church Year boring. Yet, in its way it is spiritually instructive. Most of life is not spent in the “high” points of major festivals. Most of life takes place, not in mountaintop experiences, but in the valleys of life, with the day in – day out struggle of living. What is important is to nurture our faith for living through the long haul. What are keys to this?
Pr. Frank Honeycutt is a recently-retired Lutheran pastor and author. When he retired from his last call, he wrote his last newsletter article and titled it, “Advice From a Departing Pastor” (Living Lutheran, Jan., 2017). His advice applies equally to our personal life of faith as well as our congregations.
Whether it is the long haul of living faithfully as a Christian day-by-day, or dealing with the changes time brings, disciples need to keep to the basic disciplines that have supported Christian faith in every time and place: Study, worship, Baptism, sacrificial giving. It’s not rocket science. They are the keys to faithfulness.
The Lord be with you!