Thursday, June 10, 2010

church year (part 2)

(more on the church year from internet monk...)

The period between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is called ordinary time. By contrast the period through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, the Great Triduum, and the Easter season ending on Pentecost is called extraordinary time. Extraordinary time is so designated because its chief purpose is to celebrate the specific historic, supernatural acts of God in history that result in the salvation of creatures and creation.

From Advent to Pentecost, we celebrate what God has done to inaugurate the new creation through Christ’s finished work. In the season after Pentecost, we celebrate what God does to empower us to live out the Gospel day to day and week to week in the context of our ordinary lives.

Ordinary time provides a perfect canvas on which to portray how God works through us in daily life—in our families, our work, our relationships with our neighbors, in our communities and in the world, in our care for creation, in our recreation and leisure activities.

Ordinary Time, with its emphasis on daily living in the world, is a great opportunity to teach about and practice evangelism and missions. Vacation Bible Schools, community outreaches, camps, mission trips, and training classes to help believers learn to share their faith all fit well with the themes of this season.

The first part of the Christian Year (extraordinary time) corresponds to the Gospel story. This second part of the year (ordinary time) celebrates the continuing story of Jesus as seen in in Acts, and as we continue to experience it today.

The season after Pentecost, is by no means “ordinary” in the sense of being unremarkable or unimportant. This season celebrates the ongoing work of Jesus in and through his people. With the Gospel, empowered by the Spirit, we walk day by day and week by week in his salvation. The church, through God’s ongoing presence, continues to plant seeds that will bring forth a harvest in the new creation.

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