A new year – a time to renew our faith in Christ

Happy New Year! On Sunday, November 27, Christians around the world began a new Church year with the first Sunday of Advent. The Church over the centuries has developed a cycle of scriptural lessons and worship practices to carry us through the year’s liturgical cycle. This year we will hear lessons from the Gospel of Mark. The sacred texts we hear in Advent begin the new year’s journey through the Bible, retelling the story of our salvation with prophecies of the long-awaited Messiah, to Jesus’ birth into a humble human family in Christmas, through the season of Epiphany with accounts of how Jesus’ identity as the Christ were made manifest. On Ash Wed., February 22, the season of Lent begins and we will hear accounts of the growing tension in Jerusalem as Jesus’ ministry challenged the powers of this world. On Easter, Sunday, April 8, we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and rediscover how his disciples, then and now, continue his ministry to bring the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, we will hear the account of the Holy Spirit coming to inspire and motivate the disciples to head out to the ends of the earth spreading the Good News of God in Christ to people of every culture and language. All summer and fall we will hear the teachings and parables of Jesus. Then Advent 2012 arrives on December 2, and we start another year of retelling and renewing our faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ.


Christians are a liturgical people; our emotional, physical and spiritual lives are connected to the seasons of the year. As the days grow shorter and darker, we pray and light candles to indicate we are waiting for Christ to return, to be born again in our hearts and homes on December 25. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we give God thanks for the arrival of the Light of Christ into our lives with the lengthening of days and increasing light, love and hope in the world. On Easter, in springtime, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and renew our Baptismal Covenant and our new life in Christ.


Develop an Advent discipline that will carry you through the whole Church year. Light a candle each night as you say Grace or your bedtime prayers. Give thanks each day for all your blessings, and be a blessing for someone else. Follow the seasons of the Church year by reading the lessons for each Sunday before you come to church. Use this website to find the lessons: www.lectionarypage.net  Follow the example of Jesus’ life all year long. Share your faith, your prayers, your hopes, and your love with those around you – family, friends and neighbors. As shepherds and magi brought gifts to the Christ child when he was most vulnerable and in need, share what you have with those in need: donations of food, clothing, food cards, and give money to organizations helping the poor and homeless. Be Christ’s heart, hands and feet every day, all year, and your life will be enriched beyond measure.

The Glory, by Madeleine L’Engle

Without any rhyme

without any reason

my heart lifts to the light

in this bleak season


Believer and wanderer

caught by salvation

stumbler and blunderer

into Creation


In this cold blight

where marrow is frozen

It is God’s time

my heart has chosen


In paradox and story

parable and laughter

find I the glory

here in hereafter

This entry was posted in The Rev. Dr. Carol M. Flett and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A new year – a time to renew our faith in Christ

  1. Jo says:

    That is one of my favorite L’Engle-isms — such a wise woman who definitely speaks to me.
    After Matthew’s sermon Sunday about waiting time, I was telling him about her Advent book, Awaiting the Child. Maybe a great study book for next Advent?

  2. yalilla says:

    What a beautiful, helpful, useful,message. Thank you for mapping it all out, and for the lovely poem. Eileen Davis

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