Why Observe the Seasons of the Church? (E.g., Advent)

I shared this morning about the significance of Advent as a time of “organized rejoicing.” To be sure, its theological significance is a little more drawn out than that, but I think there’s something to this idea of corporate rhythms that is somehow lost in our society. Sure we celebrate holidays. Sure we celebrate occasions. But it seems to me that these are often washed over by the sweetness of candy, treats, marshmallow peeps, toys, presents, and so on. Now pls, I aint no grinch and think it’s delightful to drug the children every now and then (tongue in cheek), but do we miss out as adults on some of the more subtle variations of the emotional spectrum that is the seasonal calendar?

Sometimes I think that might be one of the reasons of the rampancy of psychological disorder in this day; we are constantly seeking this state of perpetual, sugar-induced happiness and wonder what is wrong when we are not having it, when in fact, maybe it’s not normal to always be “happy” (translate: giddy, exciteable, high on crack).

So in the end, maybe there is something emotionally healthy and stabilizing about an organized, intentional time of corporate somberness (Lent), or corporate rest (Pentecost), or corporate discovery and wonder (Epiphany), or corporate rejoicing (Advent). Maybe the road to emotional / biological health are healthy corporate rhythms. Plausible?

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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