Seasonal rhythms erupted in northwest Ohio this past week. Trees ignited in reds, yellows, and oranges. We actually experienced several sunny days accentuating the fall colors.
One season brilliantly illuminating the way into another sequence of time. Time changed a few weekends ago too – bringing darker mornings.
Now we are transitioning from colors to drab. Yet I hold the promise of new life as bird nests once hidden suddenly appear. Read more here about my lessons about bird nests.
I am not a fan of the gloomy winter days. I long for the joy found in the light and warmth of summer.
But there is a comfort in living into the rhythms of each year. The discovery of each season’s gifts. The understanding that there is a time of everything in life.
A few weeks ago I heard a speaker say we really only deal with 2-4 main issues our entire lives. Like a spiral, we keep coming back to the same flaws, strengths, and desires over and over again but with a different perspective, lens, and insight with the passing of time.
Seasonal rhythms provide the mile markers of this spiritual inner work.
The Church Year in Seasonal Rhythms
Does your church family celebrate the church calendar?
Mine does. We are just finishing up the long period of time called the Ordinary time or the time after Pentecost. I wrote about the church year here on this older post.
We are quickly approaching rapidly changing church seasons, but I love the joys each time brings.
Each block commemorates a different aspect of Christian experience and tradition. The dates rotate slightly each year depending on where Christmas and Easter occur.
- The church year begins on the first Sunday in December marking the beginning of Advent.
- Then the Christmas season is celebrated from the glow of candles and singing of Silent Night on Christmas Eve through January 6, Epiphany.
- The season after Epiphany begins January 7 and lasts until Ash Wednesday.
- Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter. The special days of Good Friday, Maundy Thursday and Baptism of our Lord are recognized in this season.
- Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21. Because the date for Easter moves between March 22 and April 25, the length of the Season After Epiphany and the Season After Pentecost varies. The Easter Season is fifty days long and goes through the Day of Pentecost.
- Then the long season after Pentecost begins immediately after Pentecost Sunday and continues until the beginning of Advent. This season is known as Ordinary Time.
The church year calendar forms around the events in Jesus’ life. Then we too can center our lives, our worship, our spiritual formation around the lessons learned from walking and talking with Him.
I love seeing the colors in worship change with each season of the liturgical year. Purple, white, green, black, red, pink, gold and others decorate the pulpit and altar creating a reflective atmosphere and setting the stage for pondering God.
The rhythm of each season and of each turning of the church calendar calls me to pattern my life after Jesus. This won’t happen immediately but needs to be nourished, cultivated, given sun and rain and even times of rest for healthy growth to occur. Seasons allow this time of deepening, sowing, harvesting, and letting go.
May the Son accentuate all the colors in life.
I love how the church year brings richness to each and every season.
How do the seasons and church year nourish your spiritual walk?