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The Year of Grace

“My times are in your hand…” Psalm 31:15

The annual cycle of the church year has been called the year of grace. Throughout the seasons of the church year we celebrate and commemorate the great events of our Savior, things that serve to inspire our faith! Truly our times are in his hands! For as we share these truths, familiar texts, and festivals, we relive them all as our Savior comes among us and we share his words in this place of faith.

The church year dates to the earliest centuries of Christian history. Beginning with the celebration of the Lord’s Day each week and singling out Friday as a remembrance of our Lord’s passion the church year began to develop. It’s depth of thematic and instructive content have served God’s people well for nearly two millennia. At Saint John’s, having incorporated Wednesday services we are enjoying additional texts that tie into the weekend worship. As we participate in the Lutheran Missal project, we are availing ourselves of additional texts for growth in our faith together!

The church year is truly the year of God’s grace for it covers the full drama of redemption. There are two parts to this church year: The Time of our Lord and The Time of the Church. The Time of our Lord might be understood as beginning with the celebration of the Nativity all the way through our Lord’s Ascension after Pentecost. The Time of the Church then begins with the season of Trinity. In these weeks and months our growth in faith is the emphasis that comes through in the appointed texts.

It is now 2024. And as we begin a new calendar year, it is truly the year of our Lord! For through the church year we live out these seasons with our Savior. In the words of the hymn, Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year, “With him as Lord to lead our way in want and in prosperity, what need we fear in earth or space in this new year of grace!” As God’s children our times are in his hands! Together then, may we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord throughout the church’s year of grace!


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