I must confess that in beginning a new church I have largely neglected the church calendar. I don't mean the "church calendar" that we schedule all our events around. Instead, the church calendar I am talking about are those seasons, holy days, and rhythms the church of Jesus Christ has been guided by through the centuries. Like many others who have begun new faith communities, I have viewed the use of such tradition as antiquated, irrelevant, and not "seeker comprehensible".
However, recently I have been thinking about the purpose of the church calendar particularly as the season of Advent approaches. My understanding of the purpose of the church calendar is that it help followers of Christ and those who are beginning or thinking about following Christ by being a way to mark and participate in the life of Christ from his birth, to this ministry, to his death and resurrection to his return in glory.
Why would we want to rob people of this opportunity to learn more about the life of Christ and model their lives on the life of Christ?
Admittedly, the church calendar becomes a tool that is abused when seasons and holy days become one more rote thing. However, I am feeling that if we explain the significance of these days to both followers of Christ and to those who are seeking they can hold power today. When we do this the church calendar can become a powerful tool to invite people into a life of discipleship and invite people to continue to grow in faith.