I try to think of the Christian year less as a perpetual circle and more like an ascending cone. Tracing a circle, one goes around, eventually returning back to the point of origin. Tracing a cone, one can go around in a circle, yet never returns merely to the point of origin, but somewhere above—somewhere beyond.
I believe the church calendar is something like that.
Every Advent I find myself stepping into a new place in the river. This is the slow and winding journey of character formation—which happens to be one of the primary strategies the church has historically employed to grow her people up into the image of Jesus. This incremental formation is designed to occur over the course of a lifetime as we are shaped by the story of the gospel.
Our Jewish brothers and sisters have rhythms too. Some we have followed, many we have (sadly) left behind. One of their rhythms is to debate the Pentateuch each week before attending the Saturday Sabbath service. They finish at the end of ...