“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:4–5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The church year ends, and the church year begins anew. One day is in the last week of the church year and the next is in the first week of Advent. In fact, the church year ends the same way that it begins, waiting for the savior. The cry of Maranatha can be a prayer for Jesus to come as well as a declaration that He has come. This is the reality of our lives lived between the comings of Jesus. We declare that He has come in the incarnation, and we await His second coming at the end.
This makes the end of the church year different from the end of the calendar year. The end of a calendar year is treated as a time to take stock, to reflect, and to plan. A new calendar year is seen as a chance to start fresh. There is even the temptation to try and become a new you in the new year.
A new church year, on the other hand, is a time to pray for more of the same. We pray for God to keep us in His Word. We pray for Him to keep us in the faith. We pray for Him to continue to guide us in the way that leads to eternal life. While we wait for Him to return, we pray for Him to remain with us and continue to give us His gifts. A church year that was for you has come to an end; a new church year that is for you begins. The Jesus who was born of Mary is the Jesus who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He is the Jesus who was raised on the third day and later ascended into heaven. He is the Jesus who is with you now as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and is the Jesus that you wait for. Amen, Come Lord Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
What joy to know, when life is past, the Lord we love is first and last, the end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace, Transport us to that happy place beyond all years and sinning!
Amen! Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! Crown of gladness! We are yearning for the day of Your returning! (O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright, LSB 395 st 6)
-Pastor Grant Knepper is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, Oregon.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.