This past Sunday was the Feast of Pentecost, the day we commemorate the gift of the Holy Spirit sent by God to empower all who follow Jesus to proclaim God’s goodness to the world. The Day of Pentecost moves us into what we call the Season After Pentecost in the Church Year. This is the longest season, stretching from 50 days after Easter to Advent which is the four weeks prior to Christmas.
We refer to this as Ordinary Time, time in which we reflect on what it is to live in the meaning of Jesus’ Resurrection in our regular and typical days, in other words, in our ordinary life. Please don’t read ‘ordinary’ to mean insignificant. God created us for this life of waking and eating and sleeping and working and playing and loving. It is how God has ordained all of us, the order of things in God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
It is our understanding of ‘ordinary’ that informs what we consider special or extraordinary. It is the ordinary days that make the special days extraordinary. Somewhere along the way, we humans (at least we humans in the United States of America culture from which I write this) decided that every day, every event, every meal, every thing needs to be special and extraordinary. We decided that ordinary was bland and boring and even bad. And this extraordinary pressure to live outside of who we are created to be is depleting our ability to be grateful. This ‘every day must be extraordinary’ mentality keeps us in constant competition with each other because my extraordinary must be better than your extraordinary.
As we begin to venture out of the necessary separation and seclusion of the COVID19 pandemic, I find our transition into the Ordinary Time of the Church calendar so appropriate. We’ve all had an extraordinary year-plus. None of us are the same. Our world is not the same. And we are faced with a choice: we can struggle to return to the way we were pre-covid or we can move forward, following Jesus in the ordinary days to come, rethinking what we consider ‘normal’ in light of the Resurrection.
So, I invite you to join me over these days and weeks and months of Ordinary Time, on a journey with Jesus. Let’s look at what the ministry, sermons, parables, and prayers of Jesus can teach us about living as Resurrection People in our everyday ordinariness.
Jesus tells us that he came to give us real life, life far better than we can imagine (see John 10:10). To open ourselves up to receiving this real life, we have to let go of the life we think we should have based on the world’s standards. We need to let Jesus reset our imagination based on a Kingdom view of the world rather than the worldview of our own kingdom.
If you know folks who’d like to join us in this journey, I’d be grateful if you’d share this with them. See y’all Thursday.