welcome. why "weak on sanctification"?

this accusation is often made about lutheran christians. because we focus so strongly on god's justifying grace in christ, and our continual need, as "sinner-saints," to receive god's gifts of grace through word and sacrament, people say we are "weak on sanctification." i prefer to say we are strong on jesus, whose sanctifying work in our lives is the fruit of the gospel all along our lifelong journey. i would much rather focus on what he has done than on anything i might do.

the weekly discussion

each week I set forth a topic to promote discourse about some aspect of Christianity, the church, or the spiritual life. i would love to hear your perspective and thoughts on each week's subject. these discussions are usually posted on mondays, so if you missed this week's post and would like to catch up on the conversation, just scroll down and join us.

November 30, 2009

the weekly discussion--november 30, 2009

in my 35 years as a christian, i have watched (and participated) as more and more evangelicals and non-liturgical communities have discovered how marking special days on the church calendar can be helpful in celebrating and forming our faith. since the christian year tells the story of jesus, it is a great way to become more "jesus-shaped" in our approach to life, worship, and mission in the world.

as eugene peterson said,
when we submit our lives to what we read in scripture, we find that we are not being led to see god in our stories, but our stories in god's. god is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.
most are introduced to the christian year via advent, the period of preparation before christmas.

today's discussion question is simple:
how have you, your family, and your church practiced advent?
it is hoped that we can be of encouragement to one another as we seek to inhabit the story of god and let it form our lives in jesus.

today's van gogh
shepherd with a flock of sheep, 1884


  1. I belong to a PCA church and the leadership has gone back and forth on "holidays". We do some Christmas hymns and such, but the sermon is never directed towards the church calendar.

    At home, each year we make some advances introducing more of the calendar in our lives. This year I hope to work us through Advent and Epiphany. We also plan on attending evening services at another congregation for each week in Advent.

  2. dw, thanks for the comment. it reveals that there are many evangelicals who are still uncomfortable with observing the christian year. does your pca church hold to a version of the "regulative principle" that leads them to avoid such observances?

    do you feel any conflict between your own attraction to the church year and your congregation's ambivalence about it?