The seasons of the Church Year––Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Pascha (Easter), Pentecost and Kingdomtime––are the elements of a hero's journey. As a whole, the seasons of the Church Year work together to tell the epic story of the creation, fall and restoration of all things in Christ and through His Church.
The rhythm of the first six seasons is a repeating pattern of anticipation, fulfillment and manifestation focused particularly on Christ. What Advent anticipates is fulfilled in Christmas and manifested in Epiphany. Likewise, what Lent anticipates is fulfilled in Pascha and manifested in Pentecost. Kingdomtime then shifts the focus onto the Church as the continuation of this pattern first modeled in Christ’s life and ministry. In epic literature worldwide down through time, the rhythmic pattern we see in the Church Year shapes what is known as the hero’s journey.
In epic story, the hero is called out of the ordinary (i.e., the good but fallen) world on a quest to transform himself and his world into something extraordinary (Advent).
After accepting destiny’s call (Christmas), he gathers or is gathered with a band of other adventurers who join him in the quest. At this point the hero is revealed to the eyes of a few as someone destined for glory (Epiphany).
Then the story takes an unexpected turn where the deeper meaning of the Advent call is revealed. The transformation that the hero will achieve will be so total that it will result in the destruction of evil and the restoring of everything ruined by evil. This is no ordinary feat. To achieve this level of victory requires a commitment to sacrifice and chivalry that uses power to free captives rather than bind them (Lent).
Thus the hero follows dangerous paths through darkness into and through death. Here, at the very heart of the story, the hero exhausts evil by allowing it to empty its arsenal upon him. But even this does not break his resolve to remain true to what is noble and divine. The hero experiences a death, one that crushes evil by exhausting it, while the hero’s death is not permanent, but only a “heal bruising” (Gen. 3:15). At the deepest point of the journey, in Hades itself, suddenly everything changes. Resurrection signals a reversal of direction from descent to that of ascent (Pascha).
Nothing is left behind. All shall be raised to glory. The same Spirit that enabled the hero to fulfill the quest is now poured out, first upon him and then also upon his chosen ones (Pentecost).
In turn these chosen ones now join the hero in expanding the quest even broader to set free all who yet remain captive and even to restore creation itself from its bondage to decay (Kingdomtime).
Also see Church Year and the “Epic Story” section of Part 1 of the Constitution.