By Gina Gaudet
Just as we see the yearly passage of time as a cycle through natural seasons and created annual holidays, so goes the liturgical church. The church year actually begins with Advent (December 1 this year) and ends on Christ the King Sunday (November 24 this year).
The seasons of Advent, through Easter, represent the earthly life of Jesus. The festival of Pentecost (seven weeks after Easter) marks the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and the birth of the church under the spirit’s guidance. This season also takes us back to the life and, more specifically, the teachings of Jesus, which guide the life of the church and God’s people today.
Here is what’s so interesting. The Sunday we call Christ the King refers directly to the hope that Christ will return in a bodily form to establish the eternal just and compassionate reign of God on earth, defeating all powers of evil in its many forms.
So there is sense of the end of the story here, yet it leads us forward in time and subsequently back to the beginning! Once again, we long with the ancient prophets, for the coming of a “king.” That king then shows up in totally unexpected and astounding form as a baby! A universal beginning of life event!
It would seem, then, that what we are left with is an endless cycle of longing, rejoicing, learning, serving and longing, rejoicing ... how do we break the cycle of longing for a final “ending” to the story?
The crazy beauty of this story is that it actually has no ending. Because if we let it take root in our own lives, it becomes our own life story! It finds expression, action, resolution in the story it tells of each of us. It becomes millions of stories! When we take into our own hearts the life, baptism, teaching, healing, serving, death, resurrection and revelation of the mystery of God’s presence in our own lives, we are the story!
If there is a moral to this story, it is simply this: ask yourself, this year, will you embrace the hype of shopping, spending and stressing, or will you accept the invitation to step into the never-ending story of Christ on earth? How will this story become your story? Your life?
At Trinity Church we tell the story, we share the story, we live the story in as many different ways as there are people in the pews. We would invite you to be part of our story and let us be part of yours.