Each year those cycles have work to do in us, which is to make God’s saving acts vividly present. And each year we have work to do with them, which is to let everything we are going through this particular year get brought into conversation with God’s saving acts and opened up to them. When both parts of that equation are in play, Christmas and Easter get some purchase right in the middle of our lives and are able to make specific changes in us. They do that incrementally, year by year, some years far more obviously than others; but that’s what can happen, if you’re willing to make the investment, in those powerful cycles we call Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter.
This green season is a bit different. It doesn’t feature dramatic landmarks like God taking on human flesh, or pouring out his lifeblood on the cross for us. The green season presumes all that has happened already. It presumes we’ve already done the purple and white and red seasons; we’ve met Christ among us at Christmas, we’ve put our whole trust in his death and resurrection at Lent and Easter, and we’ve been filled with his Spirit at Pentecost. The green season presumes we’re now ready to live out what God did for us in this year’s big landmark seasons.