Welcome to Ordinary Time

By Beth Beaty

Christmas and Easter are easily the most well-known holidays on the Christian calendar. Advent, Lent, Holy Week, Epiphany and Pentecost are less well-known, but like Christmas and Easter they are (more or less) tied to a specific event or series of events in the Bible and a specific date or series of dates on the calendar. Between all those holidays and special seasons we find Ordinary Time. We entered Ordinary Time this year after Pentecost (May 20) and will stay in it until the first Sunday of Advent (December 2).

I use to think of the space between the big holidays as time to spend counting down to the next holiday, sort of space when we twiddle our thumbs until the next big event. I was fascinated to find out Ordinary Time is as much a part of the church year as Christmas or Easter.

A pastor friend of mine says our big church holidays remind us of something big God did. They tell the story of God stepping into the world and changing it. Ordinary Time is about our response to those stories. We are given the space to live and grow into our place in God’s story.

I like the challenge to make my days holy without the help of holidays. Instead of gathering around crowded tables for meals it took hours to prepare, we sit down to some leftovers, grab something at the drive thru or follow the meal prep plan we created. Instead of going to parties or concerts or special worship services, we head to the park, or to work or yet another errand. Instead of decking the halls or coloring eggs, we weed and mow and put all those extra shoes back where they belong. And it’s all holy.

Wondering how to make your Ordinary Time extraordinary? You can find some simple ideas for all ages here.

Beth Beaty is the Communications Specialist for Prince of Peace.

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