Many years ago, while sitting on a local board of Ordained Ministry, I witnessed one of my
colleagues ask a candidate for Ordained Ministry a very thought-provoking question. In fact, I
loved the question so much that I began asking it myself.
The question he asked was this: ‘Of all the liturgical seasons in the year, which is most important
to you, theologically speaking?’
I wonder what you would answer?
I thought my way through a few ... Christmas ... incarnation, God becoming human ...
Passiontide ... Christ’s entering into the suffering of the world ... Good Friday ... redemption,
forgiveness of sin ... Easter ... resurrection, death destroyed, new life, hope ... Pentecost ... the
empowering of the people of God for mission and service ... and so on.
Over the years I have heard every possible answer. In recent years I have come to answer that
question for myself. After 35 years of ministry and almost 60 years old, my answer is that it is
only in celebrating the whole liturgical year that we maintain a balance. You cannot skip a thing.
For example, during Holy Week, many will move from the Hosanna’s of Palm Sunday directly
to the Hallelujah’s of Easter and never experience the intimacy of the upper room on Maundy
Thursday, the betrayal, the Via Dolorosa, and Crucifixion of Good Friday. The power of
Resurrection morning is in having experienced the passion of Holy Week.
When we celebrate the whole year, Jesus reminds us that our righteousness comes from God
alone. It is God who makes us righteous, and he does this through Jesus. Being just, honorable
and free from guilt is not a human achievement, but instead it comes to us through the life, death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The coming of Jesus is not about religion — us finding God. Instead, His coming is about
relationship — God finding us.
It’s simply too good to skip.
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