I had to write about the Jewish and Christian calendars. Why? The short answer is that I care deeply about discipleship, and the calendar is one of the original discipleship tools found in the Old Testament.
It’s not quite as simple as that short answer, however. It’s been my experience that when Evangelicals speak of spiritual formation, we tend to speak in terms of practicing spiritual disciplines, or acquisition of information about God and the Bible, or we urge ourselves toward action such as service or evangelism. All are of great value in cultivating personal spiritual growth, but I found myself wondering as years went on about the way in which we in our local churches are being formed as followers of Jesus. I have been involved in programming worship services at a non-denominational church and at a Christian university, and realized that the calendar we used was forming both individual and corporate identity in those respective communities far more than we’d taken time to consider. [Read more]