The beauty of the liturgical year

I grew up in a very different tradition than where I am now. It’s only in the last 5 years I have come fully into the Anglican tradition. Lent approaches and I am reading a new book on Lent by Esau McCaulley in preparation. I will then revisit Fleming Rutledge’s powerful book, The Crucifixion

McCaulley grew up Baptist, but his description is fitting for my own life as well:

I realized that as much as I loved my Baptist church, it had not given me all the spiritual practices I needed to build a life. It had told me to read my Bible and go to church every Sunday. If I was really devout, I would go to Sunday school before church and midweek Bible study. But in the liturgy and the liturgical year I found a way of inhabiting and reflecting more intentionally on elements of Christian life and practice. I found that the liturgy helped me deepen and expand, not undo, the faith I’d been taught. It was a wonderful tool of discipleship. In the church year I found a life before God that I could pass on to my wife and kids. (How I wish that could be my testimony as well.) (Lent, p. 31)

I am grateful for the new rhythms in my own life. Each year I look to embrace Lent in different ways and this year will be no different. My wife and I will be in Israel on Ash Wednesday. We will begin the journey of Lent in a place where Jesus walked. Paul walked. Mary walked. I am thankful.

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