Ordinary Time


The last Sunday in May was Trinity Sunday, which means the next few months, from June until November, we will be in what the Church calls Ordinary Time.


I had a parishioner in Alaska who took great offense at the nomenclature. “No time is Ordinary,” she would remind every year about this time. “All time is God’s time.”


While I agreed with her on the last point I still think Ordinary Time is a great concept. When I was a kid I remember a story about a kingdom where the ruler decreed that everyone had to serve cake at every meal. At first it was wonderful, especially for the kids. But as time wore on it became less and less appealing, until finally everyone, including the kids, were sick of cake. “Not cake again!” they cried at every meal, like a child complaining about green beans or broccoli.


For me, Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, are like cake. But you can’t live off cake. C.S. Lewis said that while mountaintops are exciting, food is grown in the valleys. It is not how we respond to extraordinary situations that define us; it is how we respond to things on a day to day basis. Advent and Lenten devotions are great, but how we connect to God in the off times, the Ordinary Time is what really defines us as Christians.

The first Sunday’s text of Ordinary time is about how the Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.  I’m not sure that was intentional, but it was providential. We need to recreate which leads to re-creating. The way we live our faith in ordinary times is important, because that determines how we will react in times of crisis, and also how deeply we can celebrate in times of joy.

So, enjoy Ordinary Time!


About tmrichmond3

I am the pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Medford, Oregon. I believe that faith should be able to sustain us, not oppress us.
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