Mike Horton was asked to contribute to a series of articles in a recent issue of Christianity Today exploring the meaning and practice of Lent. In addition to reading Mike’s reflections on Lent, we’ve also made available this article from the Modern Reformation archives that makes the case for using the church calendar as helpful signposts for our Christian pilgrimage.
A Year of Signposts–Following the Church Calendar
(January/February 2001, Vol 10. No. 1, pages 18-19)
I realize that following the Church calendar is not the practice of some churches. However, it has been effective in many of our churches that have inherited it from ancient practice, and it’s being discovered by others today. While it should never be followed slavishly or with superstition, it helps to have signposts in the year that focus our attention on the momentous events in the life of Christ and the founding of his New Covenant assembly. It is another way of getting us to orient our Church life around the divine drama: Advent (culminating in Christmas), Epiphany (the appearance of the wise men-or, more properly, the appearance of Christ to the Gentiles), Circumcision (the beginning of our Lord’s consecration), Lent (Jesus’ wilderness temptation of forty days, culminating in Good Friday), Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. This is a marvelous tool for education over many years, as long as it doesn’t deteriorate to mere habit. Click here to read more.