Ordinary Time and Exceptional Moments

In our liturgical calendar, we have now completed the feasts, fasts, and festivals that tell the story of our creation, redemption, and commission as Christians that began with Advent and have ended with Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.  We have now entered into the longest season of the Church Year, a six-month period known as “ordinary time.” It is a reminder of God’s continuing presence in our lives, not only at moments of great celebrations and other dramatic events, but, most especially, during the day-to-day moments we live, in the simple passage of time that marks the vast majority of our hours, days, and years.  It reflects the ordinary time of all our relationships and experience, the thousands and millions of moments that form the foundations on which those relationships will stand and that deepen who we are and how we come to discover, know, and love those with whom we most especially share our world.

Although there are great and famous moments in the life of Christ, most of Jesus’ ministry took place in ordinary time, as he met with common people every day to teach, to listen, to forgive, renew, and heal.  At the core of his message is the importance of seeing the people, places, and things that the world often overlooks.  He points us to the common, to the mundane, and to the everyday because that is where our greatest opportunities come to make a difference for others as well as ourselves.  It was in those ordinary moments that he showed the whole world the new life he had come to bring.  And that is where we still find it today.

Ordinary time, however, does not mean dull time. Jesus continually encourages his disciples and us today to look for and find the special and the new in the very midst of the usual. That is the sacramental principle, in which the common outward and visible reality of the world becomes the means through which we find the holy, the sacred inward and spiritual grace of God.

It is a time of stewardship, caring for the earth and its people, giving thanks for the rich abundance with which God has blessed the world, and responding in generous love and compassion to the world’s needs.  All of that is important for us as human beings because of the inner, as well as outer, rewards it brings. In giving through witness, fellowship, offering of talents, and sharing of resources, we turn ordinary time into extraordinary life and hope. When that is our mission, we can indeed transform the lives of others and make real to them and us the grace, power, and love of God.

                                                                                                                            Pictured above:  The Church Clock of All Saints, West Acre, U.K.         © Copyright Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

This entry was posted in The Rev. Canon John E. Lawrence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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