Greg Goebel. The season after Pentecost is often called “ordinary” time. That seems odd, doesn’t it? Why would anything on the Christian calendar be called “ordinary”? Is this just a throw-away season?
We do tend to think that if something is “ordinary” it is unnecessary or of less value. But actually Ordinary time reminds us that God is in every aspect of our lives, and our time, even the “ordinary” parts.
And just as most of our life is spent doing ordinary things, most of the church year is ordinary time. In fact, if every day was extraordinary, then really no days would be extraordinary. The special days are highlighted by the “regular” days, so without regular days there would be not special days. The ordinary days of life are really, then, just as important as the extraordinary ones.
Think of all the “ordinary” days that Jesus spent with the disciples, in which no teaching or miracle is recorded. Think of the time spent on the road, or resting. Think of the journeys of Paul, and the many days and hours he must have spent just being with people, in which no major event occurred. These times were just as important as the times we read about in the New Testament.
During the season after Pentecost (traditionally called “after Trinity”), we focus on the teachings of Jesus, and the Epistles in the lectionary. This is a time to be sitting at the feet of Jesus, but not necessarily an idle time. Its a time of growing in our faith by practicing it in ordinary ways.
So when you hear that we are in “ordinary” time, please know that this this is not a “throwaway” season, but instead is vitally important to all of our time being under the Lordship of Christ.
Greg is the founder of Anglican Compass (previously known as Anglican Pastor). He is an Anglican Priest of the Anglican Church in North America. He served in a non-denominational church before being called into the Anglican church in 2003. He has served as an Associate Pastor, Parish Administrator, and Rector. He currently serves as the Canon to the Ordinary for the Anglican Diocese of the South.