All of us have calendars…on our smartphones, on our computers, shared with co-workers and/or family members, maybe even a paper calendar on the wall or on our desk. Those are the garden-variety seven- day-a-week, twelve-months-in-a-year kind of calendars. Most of us also have our custom calendars that revolve around school, sports, and seasons. And are regional calendars, too. For example: in our area there is Road Construction Season, Icy Roads Season, Pothole Season, and then, Road Construction Season again.
Christians, at least those who are part of liturgical traditions like United Methodists, also have a unique way of calendaring that is Christ-centered. The new year on your garden variety seven-day-a-week calendar might start in January, for example, but the Christ-centered church calendar starts in December (sometimes November!) on the First Sunday in Advent. Then, of course, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. (yes, for the liturgically organized raising a hand in the back of the room, I left out Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Ascension…and who could forget Super Bowl Sunday?)
But what comes after Pentecost (June 5 this year)?
Our liturgical calendars used to call it “Kingdomtide” but, after an extensive marketing initiative including top theologians, worship theoreticians, focus groups, and several peer-reviewed Facebook polls, we now call it (drum roll, please!): “The Season After Pentecost.”
No, I’m not kidding. How completely church-like, right?
“Season After Pentecost” doesn’t have the zing of March Madness or The Triple Crown or the World Series, but then, again, it isn’t really an event. It’s actually more like the flashpoint of a counterinsurgency, the fueling of a rebellion against the ways of the world. Christ-followers are like Secret Agents of God Almighty. We’re part of a massive, global, diverse growing network of people who have responded to the call of Christ, from every language, ethnicity, place, and time and who are sent out together, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, for the healing of the world in Jesus’ name.
So why bring this up now?
Because your “spiritual fuel tank” might need a little re-filling. You might need some Holy Spirit-given refueling. You might find that the chaos, dysfunction, and endless bureaucratic wheel-turning of United Methodism (for example…) has zapped your energy, stolen your anticipation, and put the damper on your hope. Ouch!
If you’d like to re-ignite your focus on the future as part of a vibrant, healthy, global, diverse, community of Christ-followers, you owe it to yourself (and the people you hang out with) to take a drive in the country to Geneseo, Illinois on Saturday, June 25th, for the NEW DAY regional gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. You’ll find others from Illinois and Iowa who are preparing for a NEW DAY of fruitful and faithful ministry through their local churches.
A free will offering will be taken to cover the cost of lunch.
I hope to see you there!