Not so ordinary time
We are living in ordinary times – at least according to the church. What I mean to say is that the church goes through seasons just like the natural world. The big four church seasons are Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. But now, from May 27 until December 2, this is “the season after Pentecost,” also known as ordinary time.
It makes sense to think of this time as ordinary. A portion of it takes place during the summer when, supposedly, not much is going on in the church. The choirs don’t sing, Sunday morning learning doesn’t happen, confirmation students don’t fill the halls on Wednesday evenings, and some people may take a few Sundays away from church because of vacation.
I have, more often than not, been less excited about church during this time of year. We don’t have a big celebration to anticipate. However, I have come to believe that this time of year may not be so ordinary after all.
The earliest Christians gathered on Sundays, the day of the resurrection, to celebrate the new creation made present in Jesus Christ. It is this ordinary time that invites us to examine our own faith life. In the midst of life’s highs and lows, the flow of the church remains steady and provides sanctuary.
The 34 Sundays in ordinary time are about immersion into the greater narrative of the Bible. This time allows for space to notice God at work in the world.
See God through the kind stranger who gave another directions. Hear the presence of God through the humming of crickets and cicadas at night. Contemplate how God worked through you this week, and how God will do the same next week.
Ordinary time roots us in faith, providing the needed stability to remain strong throughout the year. It really is this ordinary time that makes for an extra-ordinary life of Christian faith.