Archive for November, 2008

The unconcious and in many cases the conscious myth that moves people today is one of success, of moving up the ladder, of being rich, of having a beautiful body, of being well dressed, of having prestige, of luxuriating in material comfort, of achievingĀ  – in comfort – everything that is potentially attainable. This brings with it unashamed ambition and the expressed desire to leave the pack behind. An important quality to this myth is to set oneself, through excellence above others.

– Ronald Rolheiser


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We’re on the cusp of another Christ the King Sunday! The last day in the Church year. With that, we’re staring into the season of waiting, longing, and anticipation known as Advent, when we remember the Incarnation and look forward with hope to Christ’s return. This will be the seventh consecutive year that I’ve observed Advent. Prior to becoming an Anglican, I was completely unfamiliar with the Liturgical Calendar. Now I can’t imagine my Christian life without it.

You may say, “Isn’t the Liturgical Calendar just an extra thing? An accessory to what Christian faith is all about? Does it really matter?”

I would respond to you by saying that Christian faith is holistic in every sense of the word. Therefore, our faith in Jesus Christ requires that every corner of our lives be shaped and ordered by the life of the Triune God. Is adhering to the Liturgical Calendar the main thing? No. But does it matter? Absolutely! By engaging the Church seasons, we enter into a different rhythm of living – a way of life earmarked by God’s saving activity. How can this discipline not be helpful for living the life of grace?

You see, the Liturgical Calendar is not about the cycle of life, the school calendar, or sports seasons. It’s about the movement of history towards the glorious goal of God – the redemption of Creation through Jesus Christ. Stop and realize what a gift we have in the Liturgical Calendar for living more deeply into God’s ordering of history for his purposes.

Truthfully, much of what has happened in my soul by living liturgically has happened when I wasn’t looking. December’s are now oriented around a posture of slow waiting and longing, rather than the breakneck, furious pace of life I once knew during the 12th month. What is astonishing is I can’t tell you exactly when this shift happened only to say that it did. I can’t tell you exactly why this happened, except to say that my faith in God has somehow mysteriously enveloped and overtaken the way I relate to time.

With all this said, I look forward to this Church year’s end with hope for a worship-full and faith-full Advent season. It’s an upward annual spiral of encountering God. Or to borrow a phrase from George Herbert and go the other way, living liturgically enables me to explore the “deep, down depths of things.” I am reminded by these seasons, that my life is not my own. My story is not my story. I am caught up in the narrative of God. By looking back to celebrate his acts of salvation, my present takes on deeper meaning, and my future presents certain and transforming hope!

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