Not Such Ordinary Times
This week we commence the season known in the liturgical calendar as “Ordinary Time” which continues until the First Sunday of Advent, and is the longest season of the church year.
The term ordinary may be derived from “ordinal,” which means “counted,” though this is disputed. It may simply mean ordinary, the time of the year when we are not commemorating the major events in the life of Jesus—such as His birth, death, and resurrection—but rather the things He said and did throughout His time on earth.
The liturgical colour of this season is green, which is why it is sometimes called “the green season.” Once again the altar is dressed in green and priests are wearing their green stoles. Green often symbolises growth. During this season, the church delves deeper into scripture and the life of Jesus. We read his parables and remember how he changed the lives of everyone he interacted with, in ways big and small.
This is a time when we explore what it means to live daily in faith, a time of growth as we explore everyday sacredness.
However I can’t help feeling that this is a very unfortunate term of phrase because it implies that the only times that church is extra- ordinary is when we are celebrating t he major festivals. Now I love Christmas and Easter, they are indeed times of great celebration and provide a fantastic opportunity to reach out to those in our community who we don’t see so much of during the rest of the year but I do sometimes feel that the emphasis we put on such times can sometimes leave us with a lack of both energy and enthusiasm for the other seasons. To paraphrase – “church is for life not just for Christmas”
And at the moment church life feels far from ordinary! We are living in extraordinary times with all the challenges that this brings but also with all the unexpected joys that have emerged.
So for this week’s reflections I’m going to focus on the extraordinary – those moments which remind me of just how great our God is and how He continues to work HIs purpose out despite the times we find ourselves in….and perhaps more importantly how He uses all of us to do just that! So please join me as we commence a new season in the church year and let’s see where the journey takes us!