Time. The Church’s name for the season after Pentecost isn’t exactly exciting. Ordinary Time sounds just like….ordinary time. Everyday life. Getting up, eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, going to work, taking care of family, spending time with friends, praying, studying Scripture, serving, going to bed. Nothing too exciting, right?
But I think the name of this season is extraordinary – because it points out that faith is lived in the daily rounds of life. Faith isn’t something beyond life. Instead, faith in Christ, led by the Spirit, enables us to live daily life with hope, joy, and purpose. Just as Jesus incarnated the life of God in his flesh-and-blood daily living, so we also incarnate the life of Christ in our everyday, ordinary life. Every moment is holy; every moment has the possibility to bear Christ into the world.
I know, you’re thinking – bearing Christ when I’m brushing my teeth? But why not? Buddhists stress living life mindfully – that is, living each moment with an awareness of its uniqueness and its participation in the eternal life beyond us. So, yes, you can be mindful of Christ, even when you’re brushing your teeth! For when we cultivate that attitude of living every moment within Christ’s care and orbit, it becomes our way of life.
The readings for Sunday worship from now until Advent will emphasize this daily living in the Spirit of Christ as Jesus lived every day in the Spirit. Ordinary Time is therefore sometimes called the time of the Church – a time in worship when we learn, as Church, what it means for us to follow Jesus as his disciples. We learn about who Jesus is and how we lived. But in learning about him, we also learn about ourselves – our identity as disciples, and our practice of discipleship. We learn how our life stories are shaped by his story,
through the powerful leading of the Spirit.
So celebrate Ordinary Time. Celebrate living every moment as an opportunity to be the presence of Jesus in the world. Please also take some time to read the Transition Team column in this month’s newsletter. Along with the Acts Bible Study, the Team will be inviting you to explore your stories within the story of Jesus through an event in June called Sharing Our Stories. While the event will help us learn who we are as the church here, in order to discern God’s direction for service, it also will remind us that following Jesus is a practice that happens in ordinary, everyday time. So please make time to attend one of the two opportunities to participate in Sharing Our Stories.
See you in worship – and at the Transition Team June event! See you in Ordinary Time!