Why is it that we are always so ready to ditch the old year and welcome the new? We didn’t know how good we had it in 2019 when we were cheering for the start of 2020.
The fact is, every year has its ups and downs. There are things we want to remember and things we would like to forget. Like you, I want to believe that 2021 will be much better than 2020. But who knows?
This is what makes me thankful for the structure and stability of the Christian Church Year. The Christian Church follows a calendar that stays mostly the same year after year. It recounts the major events in the life of Jesus and the unfolding of His plan of salvation for sinners.
The Church Year starts with the promise of His coming (Advent), His birth (Christmas), and His manifestation as the Savior of the world (Epiphany). It continues with His suffering, crucifixion, and death (Lent & Holy Week) and His triumphant resurrection on the third day (Easter).
The remaining seasons of the Church Year focus on the life of Christians in the Church and in the world (Pentecost & Trinity).
I don’t know what to expect in the new calendar year, but I do know what the new Church Year will bring. It will bring Jesus through His Holy Word and Sacraments to the guilty, the anxious, the hurting, and the lonely.
The presence of Jesus through His Word means that you and I do not face the future alone. We face it in the safe keeping of our Savior who loves us and forgives all our sins.
No matter what may be changing around us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Peter Faugstad serves as the pastor of three congregations in northeast Iowa. He and his wife Kristin homeschool their five children.