“It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.” (John 6:45 NIV)
Have you ever stopped to think about how much of our lives are impacted by seasons? Certain seasons make certain things possible, from the kinds of work that can be done, to the particular foods we can get ahold of and eat, to the past-time activities we can do, and even including our relative physical comfort. For example, in addition to the seasons of the calendar, we also have a season for planting, one for eating fresh strawberries, seasons for hunting and skiing, and one for sneezing (i.e, the allergy season). Of course, there are also sports seasons, i.e., baseball, football, soccer, basketball, etc. Actually, that is the very definition of a season … a period associated with particular phase, activity or phenomenon.
Turns out, in much the same way, we also have various seasons of the Christian year, and each season is intended to focus our attention on a particular emphasis of our Christian walk. Our more commonly known Christian seasons include Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter—with each one having its particular focus and emphasis for our spiritual journeys. Pentecost Sunday, which came on May 15 this year, marked the end of the Easter liturgical season, and the following Sunday began the lengthy season of Ordinary Time, which goes all the way to the end of the Christian year, or end of November.
However, it has always seemed odd that we would title such a significant part of the Christian year, Ordinary; for that time after Pentecost, or Ordinary Time, is a time to experience God’s renewing presence. During the season of Ordinary Time, we go deeper into the teachings of Jesus as we endeavor to better understand how those teachings are relevant to our lives. How can there be anything ordinary about experiencing God’s works in our lives?
As we worship over the next many weeks, we will remember God’s saving acts in history, we will experience God’s renewing presence, and we will anticipate God’s future promise for each of us and for all of creation. We will leap from Sunday to Sunday, learning and experiencing, in celebration of Jesus Christ; and in between, we will carry those memories, experiences, and anticipations into our everyday lives. Our Christian experience will continue to become our regular, every day, normal (ordinary?) experience.
Now that I think about it, perhaps ordinary makes more sense than once thought. Let us continue to endeavor to make living in Christ an ordinary part of our lives, reflecting Christ’s love and peace in all we do.
May you be keenly aware of God’s blessings upon you, and may you likewise be a blessing to everyone you encounter . . . Pastor Bob