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End of the Church Year

The liturgical church year comes to a close in November. The church for centuries has kept track of days and seasons and commemorating special occasions with a calendar. The church year is structured around the acts of salvation that God delivers into this world for us in Christ Jesus. The Sundays and seasons of the church year help us journey on a path that shows us Jesus Christ at work in this world building the kingdom of God.
 
Advent, the beginning of the church year will be celebrated this year on November 28. Advent marks the beginning of the journey we take each year. We begin the church year with anticipation that Christ is coming into the world. We celebrate that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and came into the world in our own human nature to redeem us sinners. Advent is also a time to celebrate all the ways that he comes to us again. Our journey through the church year follows the footsteps of Jesus as he is born, appears to the nations, is crucified, and rises again. After the season of Easter, we celebrate the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. With the resurrection of Jesus and the promised presence of the Spirit, we spend most of the rest of the church year reflecting on the mission of the church and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
 
The church year journey reminds us who God is for us and who we are for our neighbor. We are reminded that God is with us in Christ Jesus. We are encouraged that the Spirit works through the gospel to call, gather, and enlighten us in the faith. We celebrate that God invites us to be a part of his mission to restore his creation. Through everything that happens in the church year and in our own lives we rejoice that Christ is our Lord and Savior.
 
The church year ends in November with reminders that this world will face judgment. The trumpet will blast. Christ will return with all authority in heaven and earth to judge the living and the dead. We will face judgment day with confidence in Christ. He is our resurrection. The scripture readings at the end of the church year are filled with honesty that the world coming to an end will be frightening. The honesty of fright is matched with the confidence that we will not face the end times alone. Our Lord is victorious over sin, death, and the devil. Christ’s love holds us more securely than any of the forces of evil that try to pull us away from God. Rejoice in Christ. The end is near, and yet our savior is always closer than the end times.
Posted by Evan Gaertner

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