We’ve celebrated two new years now…one driven by the calendar, the other driven by the liturgical year. The liturgical year, which you can think of as the year, structured by the Christian story began at Advent in the beginning of December and takes us imaginatively through the story of Jesus’ life and the lives of the early apostles. Apart from other things, it is a cycle designed to remind the church of its responsibilities and, more importantly, the work of God in our lives.
The two “new years” are inspired by very different assumptions.
- The calendar-new year is inspired by optimism that comes with simple change.
- The liturgical-new year is inspired by hope in a renewed sense of God’s presence.
- The calendar-new year invites personal resolutions.
- The liturgical-new year asks, “What is God doing?”
- The calendar-new year typically emphasizes personal ambition.
- The liturgical-new year emphasizes holy ambition.
- The calendar-new year lends itself to the question, “What can I do for myself this year?”
- The liturgical-new year asks, “What can I do for God?”
- At the end of this calendar-year, the old year will give way to a new one and we will repeat the cycle, dependent on the unseen events that lie ahead
- At the end of the liturgical-year, we will be reminded anew that — as always — we are dependent upon God.
Which new year do you want to have?