Holidays in Vision Season
In the SYNC annual cycle, holidays all fit into the big picture of the biblical story, and they follow the Genesis to Revelation sequence from January through December. This makes all our current celebrations more meaningful, and, even more importantly, it gives us some great reasons for additional annual parties.
SYNC calls us to at least one annual party for each season--Life, Roots, Freedom, etc. Some seasons include more than one holiday event, giving us multiple opportunities.
Each SYNC holiday party is a celebration of the biblical event that gives us that seasonal gift. For example, on the New Year's Day holiday, we celebrate the event of God's creation of the world, which gives us life.
SYNC holidays use the traditional Christian, Jewish, or secular name for the holiday and they often are tied to its traditional meaning. The few exceptions will become obvious as we go through the year.
Vision Season is loaded with holidays, and why not? We are glancing ahead to the last page in the story of the world, and we discover a happy ending, guaranteed by Jesus the Messiah! This is awesome!
The Feast of Christ the King, November 26, 2023
This little-known holiday deserves a lot more attention. It is the final Sunday in the traditional liturgical year, the day to celebrate the final act in the history of the earth as we know it, when Christ comes to reign as King.
In the SYNC cycle, this is not the final day but the opening day of the final season. The SYNC cycle ends with the normal annual calendar on New Year's Eve, when we look ahead to Christ's return. "Christ the King Sunday" is a great day to get our minds oriented in that direction.
The idea of a global "Messianic Banquet" goes all the way back to the New Testament.
People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Luke 13.29, New Living Translation
No holiday was attached to this verse until 1925, when the Catholic Church introduced the Feast of Christ the King. Many other denominations have adopted it since.
Christmas Day, December 25, 2023
Christmas is the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the one born to be King of the Jews and to rule the world, bringing in an age of glory by bringing earth back under the liberating control of God.
It's a great day. Really, the day this King is born is the day when evil is as good as dead. Evil cannot cope with him. It will try, through King Herod, the Roman governor Pilate, the Jewish leaders like Annas and Caiaphas, but it will fail every time.
Even when those leaders from Jesus's time kill him, they fail. He rises from the grave! And who or what evil can stop him now from coming back on any day he chooses? No one and nothing!
This is the meaning of Christmas--we live in the window of opportunity between the day of Jesus's birth and the unknown day of his visible return. Let's seize our opportunity to SYNC with God's intentions when he sent Jesus to be born in Bethlehem.
However good you thought Christmas would be this year, get ready for it to be a lot better than that. Envision Jesus, the Christmas baby, all grown up as the Christmas King delivering the world from all wrong, healing the world of all wounds, and guaranteeing that things will never go wrong again. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords! Hallelujah!
New Year's Eve, December 31, 2023
The last day of the Western calendar year is also the last day of the SYNC annual cycle. That is the day when we pray the verse at the end of the Bible, "Yes, come Lord Jesus." Or we may sing it this way, fitting it to the New Year's Eve tune, "Auld Lang Syne":
Let all our false hopes be forgot
And never brought to mind
The messianic age has dawned
And this is its sure sign
Messiah reigns in us my friends,
His Spirit lives in here
So come King Jesus reign on earth
And let this be the year
Yes let this be the year O Lord
The Messianic Year
Your kingdom come your will be done
Please let this be the year
Note on the Four Sundays of Advent
The four Sundays before Christmas are the four Sundays of Advent in the traditional liturgical church calendar. Themes for the four weeks vary in different churches. For example, Hope–Peace–Joy–Love, or Hope-Faith-Joy-Peace.
The Sundays are not emphasized in the SYNC-designed calendar or shown as holidays in the SYNC Bible reading list, but they could easily be included by those who wish. Simply add Jesus's Second Advent (Second Coming) to his First Advent.
All the themes mentioned above fit perfectly. They all start arriving at his birth, they arrive today through his Holy Spirit in us, and they will arrive totally when he returns.