Sunday, December 26, 2010
Follow the star - all year round
Let's face it. The church calendar and the calendar on our walls and in our planners are not one in the same. The Liturgical calendar is distinctly unique and has a way of setting those that follow it on a different rhythm that follow the Greco Roman Calendar alone. I spoke to a friend at church recently (the day after Christmas) and she shared that many people she knew were already done with Christmas. By the morning of December 26th, many people were planning to or already were removing the decorations and traces of Christmas. The only thing I could think was, after all the preparation - what's the rush to put Christmas away?
Over the last few years, I've begun to become better educated on the Liturgical year and its cycles, and now know that Christmas Day is only the beginning of the celebration. It was wonderful to discover that many people wait to give gifts on January 6th, which just so happens to be my birthday, which is referred to as Epiphany. Epiphany is defined as: a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day of Christmas.
It can be difficult to live into a calendar that is so much different than everyone else's, but with a little unpacking and learning I think it is a worthwhile effort. Just as the Three Wise men had to make an effort to seek out the Christ child, I believe that we as followers of Jesus should be in the year round practice of seeking too.
For this Christmas, I received a gift from my husband that will help me with my year-round Jesus seeking. I received a newly revised Book of Common Prayer: Liturgy for ordinary radicals. I've been seeking a means of refreshing my own devotional life that also connects me with the greater Church as well. It is my hope that this book with be a helpful tool in further developing my spiritual roots in this coming new year and already begun church year.
I encourage you also to seek out a means of readjusting your heart and life with a source of spiritual food that is for soul what a Tom-tom GPS is for your roadside travels. What will be the star that leads you to Jesus this season and every season to come? If you would like some help in finding some devotional resources for all ages here are a few suggestions I'd recommend:
For younger children:
The Beginner's Bible
For Family Devotions with grade/middle school children:
Making time for God
For Teens and Young Adults/Adults looking for a fresh reading of the Bible:
The Message/Remix: Daily Reading Bible
For a prayer & daily scripture reading based in Lectio Divina format/Adults:
Sacred Space 2011
Sacred Space also offers and online resource where you can pray and read at sacredspace.ie
For praying the hours try:
Common Prayer: A liturgy for ordinary radicals
The Divine Hours/ Spring-Summer-Fall-Advent to Epiphany etc.
The ELCA offers a well worked out plan for the introduction of Daily Devotions within a Congregational setting as well. To learn more about this visit: Implementation Guide for Daily Discipleship Groups for the ELCA.
God speed on the journey ahead! Follow the star.