As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
The faith tradition I was taught as a child did not include the liturgical calendar. Not in a strict sense. Our ministers wore different colored robes in different seasons and the church ladies draped the chancel with different colored cloths, depending on the time of year. But, I was an adult when I first learned of Ordinary Time.
From the moment I first heard of it, Ordinary Time has been my most favorite season. I like having a name for the steady, constant, regular, and nondescript days of rising and setting, high tides and low tides, dinner at six, bedtime at ten, even heartbeats, normal breathing, and the spectacular gift of everything being exactly as it is.
These are the days when the high seasons of Easter and Advent and Christmastide gain their significance. In these ordinary days of Ordinary Time, my hope and my peace and my security rest in what I know to be the spectacle of God’s love for me through Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. I carry the Passion with me in simple acts of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, turning off the lights before going to bed, going to the mailbox, paying the bills, picking up my prescriptions at the pharmacy.
The other day, I overheard a woman saying to her partner as they walked along the shore, “I know what’s going on with me. Are you ready?” Her partner nodded, and the woman said, “I am bored with our life. The monotony. I need some excitement.”
I get it. I have been right there. It is both/and, isn’t it?
The woman and her partner kept walking and, if he replied to her, I was unable to hear it. Their conversation was drowned out by the wind and the sound of the sea and the call of seagulls overhead. If I close my eyes right now, I can take myself right back there. And I know, without being there, that the wind is still blowing, the sea is still churning, and the gulls are still calling out to one another.
I know it, even though I cannot see it.
Thanks be to God.
Something to Think About:
What are the constants in your life that sometimes bore you?
Something to Do:
Say a prayer of thanks for the steady, sometimes boring, ordinary things in your life.
God, I appreciate the extra effort and energy we pour into our holy days. I love when the sanctuary is fuller than usual. I love the banners and flowers and special music.
And, God, I love ordinary days like today.
Days when we bring our best to worship you in the regular part of the church years. Days like today remind me how much of our life is spent in ordinary time. We go to work. We go to school. We wish it was the weekend or vacation or any day but today.
God, give us the courage to live in the now. Help us to live into the ordinary days of our lives and of the church year. Remind us again that this day is a gift from you in all its ordinariness. For this day, we give you thanks, Gracious God, because you gave us another day to love you and to love each other. On this ordinary day in ordinary time, we will worship you, Loving God. Amen.
Prayer composed by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Director of Cooperative Youth Ministry, Christ Congregational Church and Takoma Park Presbyterian Church.