“Holy, Holy Week, Batman!”

batman and robin

“Robin, there is something seriously sinister afoot.  It seems the people of Gotham have lost their sense of the story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.”

“Holy Holy Week, Batman!  It must be the work of that arch-villain the Joker who has turned the narrative of Jesus into a by-gone joke… or maybe the Riddler who has made the redemptive events of Jesus into a complicated riddle that no one can solve… or maybe that fiend, Cat Woman, has finally found the purr-fect way to foil attention to the Lord Jesus.”

“I fear, Boy Wonder, that you have stumbled upon who is behind the loss of Holy Week… they are all conspiring together not just to create a spin on the life and death of Jesus, but to form a new narrative that doesn’t even include Christ at all.”

“Those dastardly demons of disaster!  Let’s go get them, Batman!  How could they have done such an ugly underhanded umbrage as that!?”

“Let’s use the Bat computer to analyze the evidence found at the crime scene churches…. Look, Robin, it seems a feculent film of gross gas has rendered the believers prone to the noxious notion that the Christian observance of Holy Week is optional, as if the journey with Jesus to the cross doesn’t need special attention.  They are attempting to rewrite it all so that Christians will pass through this week without even a thought about Jesus… until it’s too late.  Then they will sweep in and make all of Christianity into something that’s merely an accessory to life, like a petty plastic purse.”

“Holy evisceration, Batman!  They’re trying to do away with the Christian life and the story of Jesus altogether and replace it with their fiendish focus on the foul festering faith of fecund followers!”

“That’s right, Robin.  It’s our job to stop them from following through with their platitudinous plot before it’s too late.”

“But how, Batman?  Their vile villainy has already voiced a vacuous votum of veneered viciousness to any observance of the last week of Christ’s life on this earth.”

“Yes, Robin, but you are forgetting the one “v” word which has already spelled doom for our culprits of crime… “victory.”

“Holy resurrection, Batman!  You’re right!  All we need to do is voice the victory of Jesus and those bungling bandits of belief will get another “v” word: “vanquished!”

“Holy Week and all the major Christian seasons of the Church Year are meant to help us remember Jesus and follow Christ in our daily life.  When strayed souls begin berating believers for observing obedience to Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy (or Black) Saturday, and Easter Sunday then you can bet, Boy Wonder, that the gangsters’ gross gas of gullibility has fumigated their faith.”

“So, you’re saying, Batman, that the forgetting of faith festivals can be reversed through setting our sites on the contempt of the cross and the resplendence of the resurrection?”

“The cross is the mid-point of history, Robin, the very center of faithful followers.  From it flows the flowering of all faith.”

“Holy forgiveness, Batman.  I see it now.  The sin issue has been taken care of once-for-all through the death of Jesus Christ.  And his rising again has enabled us ignorant idiots of ignominy to live a new life of love through the words and ways of Christ.”

“And, don’t forget, Boy Wonder, that we get our faith focused through walking into those ways and words by highlighting holidays as eminently important to our crowded calendars.”

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth; and, Jesus Christ his only Son, our Savior; who, with the Holy Spirit lives and reigns forever and ever!”

“Amen, Boy Wonder.  Amen.”

The Christian Year

 
 
            You might often notice that I refer to events or significant Sundays on “The Church Calendar.”  The Christian Calendar or Christian Year refers to a yearlong calendar that marks time according to God’s activities rather than ours.  It is to live life in a rhythm with Christ at the center of our worship.
 
            Time is referenced in the Bible as both chronological and seasonal.  The Christian Year is a co-mingling of both of these kinds of time.  We as Christians celebrate events in which God acted in history for the benefit of his people.  In order to remember those moments, dates have been assigned on the Christian Calendar so that we will not forget these significant events and praise God for what he has done.
 
            So, then, to observe the Christian Year helps us as God’s people to recall and retell the story of God, especially the redemptive events of Jesus.  In doing so, it provides a guide for our spiritual growth.  The Christian Calendar is arranged in such a way as to proclaim the gospel over the course of a year.  One of the ways that helps us to remember particular seasons is through the liturgical colors:  purple signifies a time for preparation and penitence; white represents celebration, joy, and victory; green lets us know it is time to focus on spiritual growth and mission; and, red helps us recall the Passion of Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
 
The Christian Year is organized and arranged with these seasons: 
 
Advent – The Christian Year begins not on January 1, but four Sundays before Christmas Day and up to Christmas Eve.  The purpose of Advent is to anticipate the incarnation and prepare us to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  We are also reminded that Jesus will return again at the end of the age.
 
Christmas – Yes, Christmas is more than just a day on the church calendar and encompasses the twelve days from December 25 to January 5 (you may recognize the 12 Days of Christmas).  Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ.
 
Epiphany – Epiphany follows Christmas from January 6 to the day before Ash Wednesday.  The term Epiphany means “manifestation.”  This is a celebration of God’s revelation, his manifestation to the entire world, not just the Jews, but the Gentiles, as well.  Epiphany emphasizes Christ’s earthly ministry of teaching, healing, and preaching.
 
Lent – There are forty days in the season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.  Lent is a time to recall Christ’s temptation, conflict, suffering, and death.  It is a season to contemplate our discipleship in light of Christ’s Passion, engage in repentance, and put deliberate focus on spiritual disciplines.
 
Easter – As with Christmas, Easter is not only one Sunday; it is a season of fifty days up to the day of Pentecost.  Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus; helps us recognize our new life in Christ; and, includes celebrating the Ascension of our Lord.
 
Pentecost – This season runs from Eastertide to the Sunday before Advent.  Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church, acknowledges our spiritual power, and calls us to rejoice in receiving God’s power.
 
Ordinary Time – This is the same season as Pentecost.  Ordinary time refers to the ongoing work of the church to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the typical, expected, ordinary work of ministry that Christ’s followers are to do.
 

 

            As we are now embarking upon the longest season of the Christian Year, Ordinary Time, we remember and realize that it is our joyful duty to follow Jesus and obey his commands in our normal everyday lives as Christians.  Wherever we go, the gospel of Jesus Christ goes with us.  May we experience together the journey in this ordinary time of seeing others come to Christ and our faith strengthened in the power of the Spirit.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.