Friday, June 17, 2011

Ordinary Time

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday. In the Church calendar this marks the beginning of ordinary time. The ordinary here is not in the sense of mundane or simple but rather, in the sense of ordinal numbers, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. and is the time counted after Pentecost and up to Advent when we start the Liturgical year again.

The naming of the time as ordinary time is a fitting misunderstanding of that word. It is the time in which we count until we start over again but we should rethink this. We are not caught in a perpetual cycle of a Church Year in which we relive the same events, same liturgy and same sermons over and over. In our tradition, we appreciate the Church Year, and expressly celebrate the High Church days of Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost, but we would be mistaken to think that our year or our lives revolve around simply looking to these high days as our high moments.

The truly great thing about ordinary time is that it is so ordinary, lasts so long and takes up most of the church year. And it is all kicked off on this day we call Trinity Sunday. You see, normal life in Christ is walking before the Father, in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. We do this day after day, week after week, year after year, and in the age to come, for millennia without end.

It is good for us to celebrate the Church Year as a constant reminder of what the Lord has done for us in coming to Earth, in redeeming us through the cross, in rising from dead, and in ascending up to heaven to rule Heaven and Earth and finally, in sending us His Holy Spirit. We need constant reminders of these things, just like we need the reminder of weekly covenant renewal worship, hearing God’s promises to us and renewing our promises to Him.

But all of those reminders are so that we can move forward from grace to grace and from glory to glory as Jesus fills the Earth with His Spirit. This is extraordinary but should be the constant every day experience of God’s people. It just goes on day after day and year after year. God is filling up time with His Holy presence. This is a great reminder to us as we start Trinity Sunday and Ordinary Time.

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