In the church year we are in what is called "common time" or "ordinary time."
Ordinary time in the church lasts quite a while. In seven months, from the end of October to mid to late-May, we observe and celebrate Reformation Sunday, All Saints Sunday, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost and Holy Trinity Sunday.
But the next five months are quiet. There are no major church holidays to observe. Our worship service will remain fairly constant. Most of our own lives also seem to quiet down a bit. Schools take a break, we prepare for summer vacations. The dreary rain is over and we quietly tend to our gardens or relax in our air-conditioned homes.
Diana Butler Bass writes about religion and Christianity. She recently posted a tweet: "Theological puzzle: Why don't we call Pentecost season ‘extraordinary time’ - awareness & attention of the spirit inhabiting the world?"
It makes sense. After all, Pentecost Sunday celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Christ. Holy Trinity Sunday recognizes the three forms of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Then we just kind of drop the subject.
Ordinary indicates commonplace, undistinguished, normal. Extraordinary means something beyond what is usual, or exceptional.
Ordinary is comfortable. It's calm. It's predictable.
Think about enjoying some extraordinary time this summer during ordinary time. Be aware of the Holy Spirit in your daily life.
How might that look? Do you read the Bible every day at home? Join a Bible Study group. Do you regularly pray every day? Pray more. Pray differently. Bless each room of the house as you enter it. Pray for each task as you begin in. Don't do any of those things? Start.
These can be extraordinary times. New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church will worship with us on Sunday, and the following week we will worship with them. We will hear from a pastoral candidate in June.
These can be extraordinary times. Be aware of the Holy Spirit and pay attention to how it inhabits the world, and specifically your world. "Because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Acts 5:5)
Have an extraordinary ordinary time.
- Ann Warner