Did you know that this coming Sunday, November 25th, is the last Sunday of the year??? The church year, that is! Yes, the church year is different from the secular year which begins on New Year’s Day, January 1st. The church year begins on the first Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on December 2nd. The church year consists of the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and the longest of them all, Pentecost.
This Sunday is also the last Sunday of Pentecost. It is designated as Reign of Christ, formerly Christ the King Sunday. It is the culmination of the church year which begins as we wait for Christ’s birth, celebrate that birth, catch a glimpse of Jesus in his youth, celebrate his baptism, follow his ministry as it unfolds for those few short years, grieve his death on the cross, rejoice in his resurrection, welcome the Holy Spirit, then hear again the stories of Jesus’ and the disciples’ ministry. I often think we would be better off centering our lives in the rhythm of the church year than in the days of the worldly year found on our calendars!
On December 2nd we will move from the liturgical color green of the Pentecost season to the purple of Advent. Purple is the royal color that helps us anticipate the reign of Christ, the king of our hearts. I invite you to be in worship this Sunday (remember it will be a combined service at 10 a.m. in the Garden Chapel!) as we celebrate Christ the King and consider what we can do to help bring in his kingdom here and now. Then I also hope you’ll join your church family on December 2nd as we welcome in Advent, lighting the first candle “HOPE” on the Advent wreath. Let’s start the New Year in the church calendar together in hope!
Peace and blessings!
Pastor Candy Thomas
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ