I surprised myself this year when, without thinking, I referred to December—and the start of Advent—as the new year. The words just came tumbling out of my mouth—telling a friend I couldn’t meet for lunch until the “new year.”
When I started observing the church calendar about a decade ago, the notion that time itself could be an entrée into worship, a retelling of the Christ story, felt like a magical discovery. I was new to liturgy and adopted each liturgical practice intentionally and, at first, a bit awkwardly, fumbling over when to cross myself in church and stumbling through the prayers of the people. But, over time, liturgical practices become less self-conscious and more subconscious. What surprised me this year was how normal the calendar has become to me, how engrained. Somewhere along the way, my new year’s day became the first Sunday of Advent, no longer January 1.
There is something of a liturgical renaissance in evangelicalism. ...1