The Lemons family has officially begun preparing for the new year. In fact, we always start preparing in November. The reason we start preparing now, is because we have embraced the Christian calendar which revolves around the annual remembrance of the key events in the life of Christ.
It does raise some eyebrows with our neighbors when we start talking about the 'new year' in November, but we have found it to be a powerful annual tool to help us enter more deeply into the life giving rhythms of grace.
This coming Sunday is the last Sunday of the church calendar year, and it is called Christ the King Sunday. After that comes Thanksgiving (an appropriate way to end the year), and then the first Sunday of Advent- which is the Church's January 1st. What is more appropriate than starting the year remembering the birth of our Savior and awaiting His eventual return?
We are currently in the process of cleansing our house, and getting rid of a bunch of toys and clothes that we don't need, to help us be ready for the coming year and all the new gifts from 12 days of Christmas (Dec. 25-Jan 5). We also participate in a fast for a week or two of fruits, vegetables and grains. During this time we are praying for vision, goals and favor in the year ahead. Finally, on Thanksgiving we bring our fast to a close (maybe a day or two before so we don't hurt our bellies), and we make up lists of what we are thankful for from the year past. It gives perfect closure to the year gone by, and those lists have become powerful markers for us to look back on and remember all that God has done for us over the years.
Are you taking advantage of the rich heritage that we have received in the church calendar? It can deepen our discipleship, and help us honor Christ even in the ways we divide our seasons and holidays. Join me now, in preparing for the new year!
Author: Cameron Lemons
Reflections from the pastor