As I compiled the list of Church Services during June, I was struck by the expression, “Ordinary Time.” As I wrote, Trinity Sunday is the last festival of the Christian Year and we are now in what is known as “Ordinary Time” until Advent begins in December. Even as I wrote this, I wondered to myself whether there is any such thing as “ordinary” time? Life and faith have a habit of presenting us with extra-ordinary issues whether they are in the church calendar or not.
Some are exciting and joyful: a new baby in the family, a new relationship, new job, new opportunity to do something good for God; hopefully some new members for our church.
Some are sad and frightening: a serious illness, loss of job, breakdown of a relationship, serious crisis of faith, problems in the church, bereavement.
Some directly concern us and some seem distant but we know that they could come closer.
If you are the kind of person who likes to plan ahead and to feel in control of what will happen in your life over the next six months, it can be frustrating in the extreme to have all your carefully laid plans overturned by something unexpected. Sometimes it feels as though there is some kind of malicious “imp” waiting with a large wooden spoon for that moment when you have breathed a sigh of relief that you have sorted out most of the “issues” in your life and can now look forward to a period of quiet ordinary time. The imp promptly rushes in and stirs everything up again …. Been there?
Do you remember the Gospel story of Jesus walking on the water? For his people at that time, the sea was the source of all chaos, inhabited by the kind of demons who liked to rush out and stir up your carefully ordered life, throwing it into chaos. Jesus did not make the sea disappear so that everything with the potential to disrupt human life went away. He just did something even more extraordinary and walked on the water. “Ordinary” time can become chaotic but it can also, through the power of Jesus Christ, become extraordinary, an opportunity to do something we never thought we could do.
So may our Lord Jesus walk with each one of you through our months of “ordinary time” and should the chaos of life alarm or threaten to overwhelm you, may he hold you and help you to do something extraordinary.
With love and good wishes,