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Inhabiting the Christian Worship Year: Advent

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This is part 2 of a series looking at the Western Christian worship year. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1.
The Western Christian worship year begins with Advent---a season spanning the four Sundays prior to Christmas (in 2018 the first Sunday of Advent is December 2). Robert E. Webber, writing about the meaning of Advent in Ancient Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year, shares this comment:
Advent is the time when God breaks in on us with new surprises and touches us with a renewing and restoring power. In Christian-year worship and spirituality we call upon God for a new breaking in, a fresh outpouring of his Spirit. (p. 38) The Advent Season is a powerful and important reminder that God is not remote, aloof or uninvolved. It tells us that God has come, is coming and will come again ("advent" means "coming"). This truth helps offset a message that is prevalent in our me-centered, self-sufficient, individualistic culture: I c…

Inhabiting the Christian Worship Year: introduction

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This is part 1 in a series looking at the Western Christian worship year. For other posts in the series, click a number: 2

The goal of this series is to take us on a journey through the Western Christian Calendar, inviting us to think deeply about how its liturgy helps us inhabit, and so be shaped by the gospel---the story of the Triune God's work for our salvation, centered on Jesus. I believe that liturgy, rightly used, is of tremendous value in helping us understand (both cognitively and experientially) the gospel as viewed through the lens of an incarnational Trinitarian theology.
Some thoughts about liturgy In this series, I'll be looking at the Christian worship year as presented in the liturgical calendar of the Western Christian Church---the calendar that is the organizing framework of The Revised Common Lectionary(RCL). The RCL shapes the liturgy of many Protestant and Anglican-Episcopalian denominations (Catholic and Orthodox denominations use lectionaries similar …