Jump directly to the Content

Teach the Calendar, Follow the Story

How I learned to let God do the creative work, and escaped the illusion of novelty.
Teach the Calendar, Follow the Story

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 ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
NOT EVERYONE LEARNS ALIKE
NOT EVERYONE LEARNS ALIKE
How to teach in the ways people learn best.
From the Magazine
Disasters Are Not God’s Punishments. But They Can Judge Us.
Disasters Are Not God’s Punishments. But They Can Judge Us.
Both 18th-century earthquakes and 21st-century pandemics upend optimism and fatalism.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close