What We Can Learn from the Liturgy of Seasons

Seasons are creation’s liturgy.

Each season has its own lesson for us. Fall teaches us that a change of pace and even of conditions are what the soul needs. How can our souls be any different?

It’s not technically Autumn yet, I get it! I know that Fall doesn’t technically begin until September 22nd, but the school calendars seem to be just as influential to our annual cadence as the seasons change. And so, while it isn’t Fall yet, the beginning of the school year is the first major change of the season, even before the first leaf of Fall drops to the ground. (And for you football fans, the NFL season is another influential factor of this seismic season shift!)

The beginning of the school year and the soft entrance of Fall forces us to squeeze into a rhythm for our families. The question is: Is it a healthy pace filled with the right agenda?

I am not ignorant to the fact that life is busy as is, and the school year might even make it even more crazy depending on how many kids you have and how involved they are in extra-curricular activities! There are a lot of variables that make our calendars chaotic. However, it’s easy to forget that many of those variables are in our control. You can come up with all the reasons and justifications you want, and maybe it is worth it to be as busy as you are, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. But no amount of busyness is worth compromising the spiritual vibrancy of your family’s rhythm.

The question is: What are the most important things that need to be part of your family’s Fall rhythm?

At Newbreak Church, there are three “B’s” that concisely communicate a strategy of a healthy rhythm.

  • Begin your week in worship (Sunday Church gatherings).
  • Belong together (Life Groups).
  • Be the Church through service.

These are meant to be year-round rhythms, indeed, but are especially important in the Fall when everything is starting back up and vying for your time and attention. After the tug-o-war for your time is finished, where does everything fall (no pun intended) and settle?

Let’s simply focus on that first “B,” beginning your week in worship.

Our calendar is a reflection of our priorities. Time is the currency we spend, whether passively or actively. And time is the commodity we can never get back.

Out of all the things we can buy more of or replenish, time is not one of them. And so how we invest our time reflects what is truly important to us.  And this is why making church a priority sets a good example for our kids to follow. We may say we prioritize our faith but if others don’t see us prioritize our Sunday gathering, it may seem like our words are inconsistent with our actions. Why would our kids make Church a priority when they move out of the house if it was something that was only part of the routine when it was convenient growing up? Are sports preventing us from gathering as a church community? Is sleeping in more important? Are errands taking up that time? We must count the cost of what happens when commitment to church becomes a passive convenience versus a passionate priority. As parents we are to “start children off on the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6). We cannot control our children’s decisions as they get older, but we can provide a foundation of what a godly rhythm of life looks like!

Please hear me out, I am not saying that your salvation or even the quality of relationship you have with Jesus is contingent on your church attendance. No way! However, there are good reasons why gathering together weekly has been informational for Christians for 2,000 plus years. Our Lord’s resurrection was on Sunday. And ever since then, Christians made Sundays the day to come together for fellowship, worship, and apostolic teaching (see for example Acts 2:42-47; 20:7).

When we gather together as the church on Sundays, we are marking the day of Christ’s resurrection as the beat that we march to as we begin our week. 

It’s all about having the right cadence and right beat that guides our life. And make no mistake, there is something powerful about coming together to sing our Lord’s praises and be inspired by the way His word still speaks today, especially as the Holy Spirit imprints gospel truths on our hearts. (These aren’t just some platitudes, studies have substantiated how congregational singing improves happiness and how frequent church attendance positively impacts mental health!)

The takeaway? Church attendance not only fosters spiritual health but also has a direct link to improving mental health! 

But why is it? Depending on the research, answers will vary… but can I boil it down to something simple? When we launch our week with corporate worship (i.e., “church service”), we are fueling ourselves in the power of Jesus’s resurrection for ordinary life. Our attendance at church shows our self-awareness that we (accurately) need the gospel to be the first thing on our minds as the week begins.

We have taken quite the journey… from talking about the beginning of the school year and Autumn as something challenging us to settle into a rhythm for the next several months to making church on Sundays a priority. But if there is one thing I could leave you with it would be an idea to not just make going to church a rhythm just because it’s the right thing to do.

Make attending church a bonding activity with family and/or friends.

  • Depending on your child’s age, try to engage with them on what they received from the worship experience. Was there something that they learned? Did they feel challenged to take action in an area of life? Were there any questions they left with? (I have written some helpful ideas on how to get the most out of each Sunday sermon in this blog post!)
  • Create a rhythm of post-church conversation by going to lunch somewhere where they would look forward to eating! Like any habit, there is a cycle of a trigger, action, and reward. While some of us find Sunday worship a reward in itself, let’s try to help the rest of our family by creating a “reward” by having lunch at a place everyone looks forward to! Or going to the movies, or to the park, or even gathering around good food and football after church. 

As you settle into your Fall routines, I pray you would sense the liturgy of the season and the blessings it offers. And I would pray that it would bring you deeper into fellowship with God and His people this Autumn/school/NFL season.

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