The Time of the Church: The Season after Pentecost

A Time of Growth

Jesus told His disciples, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We are grafted into Jesus and made a branch of the Vine by the power of the Spirit in Holy Baptism. We stay connected to Jesus, our Vine, by hearing the preaching of God’s Word and by receiving Absolution and the Lord’s Supper. This is how our life in Christ grows: by the power of the Spirit working in our hearts through Word and Sacrament.

Altar with green paraments for the Sundays after Pentecost

The Sundays after Pentecost make up the longest portion of the Church Year. This is the Time of the Church–the time we focus on growing together in the life of the Holy Trinity.

How We Worship on the Sundays after Pentecost

During the Sundays after Pentecost we . . .

. . . decorate the church with the color green.

Green is the color for the season after Pentecost. Green is the color of growing plants and life. As growing plants need water and nourishment, so we can only grow by living in our Baptisms and receiving the Lord’s Word and Sacraments.

. . . focus on the teachings of the Lord for His Church.

In this half of the year, the Time of the Church, we focus on the life of Christ in His Church as He  guides us to grow in “faith toward [God] and in fervent love toward one another.” (Post Communion Collect)

Jesus Teaches His Disciples

If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples,
and you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32

The appointed Gospels for the Sundays after Pentecost are full of Jesus’ teachings, such as His parable, words of wisdom, and debates with the Pharisees. We also hear the Word of the prophets (Old Testament), who are inspired by the Spirit to foretell Jesus’ coming, a the word of the apostles (Epistle), sent forth by Jesus to preach in the power of the Spirit. The Time of the Church is a time to grow in godly knowledge. Through His Word, Jesus is still making disciples of all those who will follow Him.

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain,
and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
And He opened His mouth and taught them. . .
Matthew 5:1-2

Excerpted from–
Ordering Our Days in His Peace:
An Introduction to the Christian Church Year
by Heath R. Curtis
available from Concordia Publishing House • cph.org

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