We are so influenced by the secular world (the non-church world) that we consistently celebrate the world’s holidays and calendar and tend to be oblivious to the Christian calendar. Much of that is the fault of clergy, priests, and pastors. Do you realize that this coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the new Christian calendar? This past Sunday was “Christ the King” Sunday, the last Sunday of the Christian calendar. (You can hear the “Christ the King” sermon from Sunday here.) The new Christian year always begins 4 Sundays before Christmas day. Since Christmas is on Sunday this year, counting back 4 Sundays gives us November 27th.
We start the New Christian Year with Advent. That’s a period of 4 weeks we are to be filled with expectation and anticipation remembering the arrival of Jesus as a baby. Sometimes the sermons are of John the Baptist announcing the coming of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Sometimes the sermons are of the angel Gabriel telling Mary that she is “highly favored” and to anticipate the birth of Jesus.
It’s exciting to begin anew. It’s exciting to get a fresh start. What a better time to start a New Year than a month before Christmas. Ironically, nothing has the ability to pull us farther into the world (overspending, overeating, and overdoing) than Christmas. Let’s not wait for Jan. 1 to start making resolutions and changes. Let’s start at the beginning of the Christian year and perhaps this could be our best Christmas ever; one focusing not on all the world has to offer, but what God has to offer in the gift of a precious child, His Son Jesus Christ. Happy New Year.