Next Lord’s Day marks the beginning of the Christian calendar, being the first Sunday of Advent. There are four Sundays in Advent prior to Christmas, and next Lord’s Day, in place of parables, there will be a series of exhortations related to the season. General exhortations linked to the church year will continue after Christmas until Trinity season, at which time, Lord willing, we will return to parables, at least for a time.
This is because we are not mindful enough of the architecture of time and history. As Christians, we want to learn to define the course of our lives in terms of the Lordship of Christ. This means defining our year in terms of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and more.
The problem with Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July and so on, is not that we happen to observe them. There is nothing sinful about a Memorial Day barbecue, but there is a problem when such civil holidays supplant and replace our distinctively Christian understanding of time. When holiday (holy day) makes people think of secular days, we have a problem.
We are to mark our days in the annual calendar the same way we mark our week as consisting of seven days with one day of rest. We do the same with our historical calendar marked into that glorious division of B.C. and A.D. The secularists, with their BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era), are wiser than the children of light. He who defines, wins. They want to win, and so they seek to define. We don’t know what we want, and so we tend to just drift along, defining nothing. But it is not the Common Era. Nothing common about it. Jesus Christ made all things new, including how we are to reckon the times. How do we understand our days, our weeks, our months, our years?
That said, next Sunday is the new year. Next Sunday, we begin at the beginning, and remember all that the Lord Jesus is to us.