Ordinary Time. Yep, it’s a thing. A liturgical thing, and one that is very helpful to me. Ordinary Time, though it has a very technical academic and liturgical meaning, speaks to me of the time in between the high, holy celebrations – of living in the routine of our lives. It speaks to me of God in the every day. And, fittingly, Ordinary Time takes up the majority of the Sundays of the liturgical year.
It’s very easy to talk about God in startling moments of clarity or when major things happen in life. It’s not so easy to find God in the every day when homework, cooking, getting to work or school on time, music or sports practice, and every item on our daily agenda is screaming for attention.
The Letter of Paul to the Romans, as translated by Eugene Peterson in The Message, has this to say about Ordinary Time:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what God wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2, The Message)
During this Ordinary Time, how will you do that? What tools will you use to keep your focus on God? Do you use a daily devotional book? Our weekly study guide? There is a visual devotional that is published by the General Board of Discipleship called Sight Psalms. You can subscribe by going to their website, and the devotional is delivered to your email: http://goo.gl/T4uR9Z. I don’t subscribe to a lot of things, but I enjoy Sight Psalms and the comment or question that comes with the picture. Another resource I found today as I have been thinking about this topic, is a booklet published online by Crossroads United Methodist Church. The booklet, My Everyday Life With God is a series of personal exercises. You may find that booklet at http://goo.gl/ELuznB
During the month of June, worship will focus on the following themes:
- June 7 – Harmony and Dissonance – Mark 3:20-35 –If our faith does not encounter dissonance, is faith just lukewarm?
- June 14 – John Wesley’s Birthday – Psalm 92 – Singing Our Faith – We will sing Wesleyan hymns on this Sunday to celebrate John’s birthday, even though it was his brother Charles who wrote most of the hymns!
- June 21 – 1 Samuel 17 – This Sunday we will explore David and Goliath
- June 28 – A Celebration of Vacation Bible School
Blessings on you!