But not all are Christian years in “In the Year of our Lord.” No, that designation began at Pentecost in the year 33 AD, and will finish sometime in the near future at the Rapture of the Church saints! Since then, every year in Christendom has been a year of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But the unbelieving world does not know this or much less care, but counts their secular years right along side the Christian Year, just like the Lord Jesus told us in this life the unrighteous would live along side the righteous, as explained in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13:24. Therefore, “The Year of our Lord” is indeed the “Christian Year.”
Just what is the “Christian Year,” and how then should we live? What difference does it make anyhow?
In every way of your life!
First, you proclaim the Lord God over all things.
Second, you realize these are His years that He created, is Lord over each and every year, and we are living in those years according to our appointed time.
Therefore, when you say or write today’s date: In the Year of our Lord, December 23, 2016, you are proclaiming the Lord Jesus! And you realize that our Christian Year begins and ends over and over again with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Son of God.
And as you reflect upon this, you begin to become more in the moment of Jesus in your life and all the mighty things that transpired in His earthly life that He did for you me. By thinking and imagining these events, well, it just draws us closer and closer to Him throughout our Christian Year.
Can you see it?
Can you feel it?
Can you hear it?
This has been the teaching of our Church from the beginning, and has continued through 20 centuries.
So, our journey of faith begins “In the Year of our Lord” with the season of Advent in December, the last month of the year, yet the beginning of our Christian Year.
Advent is the four weeks before Christmas and comes from the Latin word, “adventus,” which means “the arrival” or the “coming forth”…when God became man and dwelt among us.
Try to wrap your arms around this special time of the year as we prepare our hearts and minds to truly remember, to joyfully and expectantly celebrate the arrival at the birth of Jesus, wrapped in a manger because there was no room for the Son of God anywhere!
That silent night, that holy night, when all was calm, all was bright.
Round yon Virgin, mother and Child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild…who slept in heavenly peace.
There, in the city of David, in the town of Bethlehem of Judea, our Savior was born on Christmas morning.
I know that Christmas has taken on many different meanings…what” with Santa Clause, and shopping, parties and decorations and gifts and whatnot? Yes, all this, but we know the true meaning and should give our eternal thanks for God’s love that He made a way for forgiveness and salvation in eternal life with Him…forever!
I, like many of you span two centuries of life as we turn in January to a blessed New Year. Will it be happy?
As we prepare for “Epiphany,” in January, in the second month of our Christian Year, it is a Greek word that means, “showing forth,” when the Magi, wise men from the east came to worship the baby Jesus, and thus the manifestation of Christ to the nations.
Now we fast forward to the months of March and April to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Here we take ashes of burnt palm leaves and mark them on our body, usually as a cross, as a sign of of humble repentance through 40 days of fasting and prayer as we prepare to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
Then comes “Holy Week,” the week before Easter when our Lord Jesus began to tell His disciples about His coming suffering and death.
During this week, we remember the Last Supper in the Upper Room in Jerusalem: how He took the bread, broke it, and said, “Take and eat, for this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And how after supper He took the cup of wine, and told them that “This ids my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins. Drink this as often as you shall dink this in remembrance of Me.”
“Good Friday” is a solomn day of remembrance, a day consecrated by our Lord’s crucifixion, death, and burial.
We are ever mindful of this great act of love when we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Easter Sunday comes next, the glorious day of joyous celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! It is the principal feast day of the Christian Year that began with the early church of the 1st Century. It is the most important event in human history!
For He was resurrected from the dead is our salvation of all who believe, our eternal life with Him forever!
To be continued…