“Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.” ~The Collect for the First Sunday in Advent, Book of Common Prayer
Dr. Kester and I have been discussing times and seasons lately. Years ago (and I have mentioned this to parents before) I was struck by a talk I heard…how in earlier times church bells marked time and important community events. Before watches, before clocks were common, there was the sun, moon, animals, and church bells to mark time.
The calendar was filled with feast days, days of Saints’ remembrances, holy days, prayer days. The churches marked the passing of seasons. The calendar was Christian in Western Europe and elsewhere. In essence, Time was Christian. Throughout the days and years, Christians were continually reminded, through the passing of time, of eternal things and the core teachings of the Scriptures.
Then there was the Reformation, and some good church practices were swept away with the bad. There followed the Scientific Revolution, which de-mystified the movement of heavenly bodies. The Industrial Revolution brought railroads and the need for accurate minute by minute time, as well as factories with set work hours. Later, evolutionary theory and progressive politics shoved Christianity and the idea of the Sacred out of the public square altogether. Time has been claimed by the world, by Secular interests. Most of us Christians now work to carve time out of this secular block for our Church activities.
Is it unfair to say that most Protestant American Christians have very little in the week or the calendar says, “This all is God’s”?
Dr. Kester and I are wondering how we can help our students grow up with a more Christ-infused sense of seasons and time. The Advent season helps explain the concept. Advent has held on even in non-denominational churches because we love celebrating Christmas so much. What if we learned to love not just commemorating the arrival of the Savior, but also his teaching, his Sacrifice, his Resurrection, his Ascension, his Judgment, his promise to Return? What if students were a lot more conscious of God’s holding time in His hand?
Speaking of Christmas, please join us for the Christmas Soiree on Thursday, December 19th!
Join us at Church on the Rise at 6:00pm. There is more room this year for friends and family, so all are welcome.
With Advent Blessings,