A New Church Year
This year on Sunday, November 29 the church begins a new year. The church year begins with the season of Advent. Advent is the season when we anticipate the coming of the King of Kings. We not only anticipate the birth of the King, but we prepare for His second coming. Jesus is the King of Kings. He is our Lord and Savior.
God promised that He would save His people. Jesus is that Savior. He is the incarnate Lord. He is the Anointed One. The Babe of Bethlehem, is the Savior of the nations. The child born of the virgin will suffer and die for our sins, rise from death, and rule eternally. The King of Kings will come again and establish a new heaven and new earth. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise.
"Behold I am making all things new."
--Revelation 21: 5
As we start a new church year, it would be good to review our commitment to our Lord. We make New Year's resolutions to better ourselves and make positive changes in our life. As we begin the Advent season, I hope you will resolve to make a positive change in your relationship to our Lord.
John the Baptist called the people of Israel to repentance to prepare for the coming of the King. As we begin a new church year we should repent. Luther begins his 95 theses: "When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent," He called for the entire life of believers to be one of penitence." We begin our worship services with confession and absolution. We are sinners. Jesus came to suffer and die for sinners that we would be reconciled to God. Come to worship services and each day confess your sins to God. We sin. God forgives.
As we prepare for the second coming of the King, we should work to grow stronger in our faith. God gives us the Means of Grace for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith. The means of grace are the Word and Sacraments. Connect to Word of God as you read and study the Bible. There is a myriad of devotions available in the Portals of Prayer or online. Your faith is strengthened when you discipline yourself and study the Bible. If you are not daily studying the Bible this can be a new thing you do.
Our faith is strengthened when we study the Bible as a community of believers. The Word is proclaimed in the Sunday Worship and opportunities are available to study scripture corporately with other believers. When believers gather around the Word of God, God is with them.
We celebrate the Sacrament of the Alter every Sunday during our worship. Jesus gives us His body and blood under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins and strengthening of our faith. We receive a foretaste of the feast to come in the Sacrament of the Alter. The Spirt of God comes to us through the Means of Grace. It is foolish when we separate ourselves from the precious gifts of God by not gathering around the table of the Lord. God comes to us through the Word and Sacrament ministry of His church. As we begin a New church year, we can commit ourselves to faithful worship. With our faith strengthened we can stand firm in our faith as we wait for the Second coming of the King. Jesus will come again to judge the wicked and take the righteous to dwell in the new heaven and earth. Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of the King.