Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God, By Bobby Gross
Living the Christian Year
  • Length: 334 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: July 27, 2009
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3520
  • ISBN: 9780830835201

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Infuse your days with meaning.

You are part of a larger Story. And the One who began the Story is at work today, in your life, in the midst of your meetings and bills and family activities that make the days rush by and blur together. In these pages Bobby Gross opens to you--and opens you to--the liturgical year, helping you inhabit God's Story every day.

  • Remembering God's work, Christ's death and resurrection, and the Spirit's coming will change you, drawing you into deeper intimacy with God and pointing your attention to the work of the Father, Son and Spirit right now, in and around you.
  • You'll be reminded daily that your life is bigger than just you, that you are part of God's huge plan that started before time and will continue into eternity.

Whether you're familiar or unfamiliar with following the liturgical year, this book makes it easy to do, offering here the significance and history of each season, ideas for living out God's Story in your own life, and devotions that follow the church calendar for each day of the year.

"The power that overshadowed Mary and raised Jesus from the dead also guarantees the final redemption of all things in him; that same power is at work in us now," Gross writes. "Keeping liturgical time, making it sacred, opens us further to this power as, year after year, we rehearse the Story of God--remembering with gratitude, anticipating with hope--and over time live more deeply the Story of our lives."

"Only occasionally does a book come along which will become a steady companion in my own journey of discipleship. Bobby Gross has engagingly written that kind of book. It both points the way to a fuller understanding of God's great story in Christ, and simultaneously provides guidance and tools to help me weave my life into God's story as I enter the steady rhythms of the Christian calendar. I have never seen a book quite like this."

Dr. Stephen A. Hayner, professor of evangelism and church growth, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Culture's daily story of noise, busyness, consumerism and competition is often the loudest shaping voice of our lives. It can influence choices more than a weekly or monthly dose of churchgoing does. Bobby Gross opens the possibility for another voice and another story to shape us on a daily basis. Living the Christian Year invites believers to live by the rhythms of God's redemption story. This lovely book hooks our daily life into the extraordinary beauty and usefulness of the liturgical year--a year spent in following the life of Jesus. I delight in a book that reveals how Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Pentecost and Ordinary Time place our ordinary lives in the context of the most amazing story ever--the story that can guide us at all times and in all places."

Adele Calhoun, copastor, Redeemer Community Church and author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

"Whether we know and believe it or not, we live in sacred time. The only time that is is created, given, sustained and re-created by God--time that God will one day fulfill. Living the Christian Year beckons us to lay hold of this reality, to richly dwell in the story that holds time together, and as we do so to practice the communion that holds God's people together in grace across time and around the globe. This is the biblical story out of which comes all true worship and justice."

Mark Labberton, author of The Dangerous Act of Worship

"Bobby Gross has written a jewel of a book about the depth and riches of observing the Christian year. Christians in nonliturgical settings will be touched by his understanding, not to mention those who are already living the Christian feasts and seasons in liturgical churches. They, too, will gain insight to match their customary practice. This is a book to dip into and enjoy."

Emilie Griffin, author of Clinging and Doors into Prayer

"Many devout Christian believers are unaware of the richness to be found in the Christian calendar year, with its high and low points, its celebrations, its times of self-examination and repentance, and even what is known as 'ordinary time.' Bobby Gross, who began to live the seasons of the Christian year as an adult, celebrates the story of Jesus' life through liturgy. This is a bountiful resource, thought-provoking, informative and motivational, showing how liturgy can help us in our deep need to pursue God and a holy life."

Luci Shaw, writer-in-residence, Regent College, and author of Water My Soul and Breath for the Bones

"Beautiful in its gentleness and humility, this book is a gift to Christians of all communions and denominations, for it deals with our beginnings and the originating, sacred rhythms from which we all come. Only Bobby Gross could have so gracefully opened the church's liturgical calendar to all who wish to see, and only he could have laid so rich a feast of devotion as this for those who yearn to enter."

Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours

"Gross's book comes with no expectation of familiarity with the concept of liturgical time, and he offers helpful background for readers who are newcomes to a church year calendar. A substantial, scripture-based approach to private devotion."

The Living Church, Winter 2010

"A solid contribution on the liturgical year for ecclesial or worship-group resources."

Graham, Library Journal, January 2010


Foreword by Lauren Winner
1 Discovering Sacred Time

The Cycle of Light
2 Advent: Enlarged in the Waiting
Devotions in Advent
3 Christmas: Enriches in the Giving
Devotions in Christmas
4 Epiphany: Enlightened in the Telling
Devotions in Epiphany

The Cycle of Life
5 Lent: Humblen in the Turning
Devotions in Lent
6 The Paschal Triduum: Healed in the Dying
Devotions in the Paschal Triduum
7 Easter: Heartened in the Rising
Devotions in Easter

Cycles of Love
8 Ordinary Time: Empowered in the Pouring Out
Devotions in Ordinary Time: World and Church
Devotions in Ordinary Time: Neighbor and Self
Devotions in Ordinary Time: Work and Rest

Epilogue: Fill Circle Once Again
Appendix: Dates for the Christian Year Through 2025
Additional Resources


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Bobby Gross

Bobby Gross is director of Graduate and Faculty Ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). Bobby serves on the national board of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, Bobby was a national field director for IVCF, served as an InterVarsity chaplain at the University of Florida, launched campus ministry in South Florida, and was the regional director for New York/New Jersey. Bobby is the author of Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God. He has also contributed chapters to three other books, including Faith on the Edge (InterVarsity Press) and Signs of Hope in the City (Judson).