The Art of Worship: Ordinary Time
Ordinary time is the season that follows Epiphany (although most of the time it’s called “season after Epiphany”) that goes from January 7, 2022 - March 2, 2022.
Growing up I didn’t like Ordinary time. The White Rock United Methodist Church (where I grew up) met in elementary school gymnasiums and we always went early to set up chairs and transform a children’s table into an altar. My family and others all chipped in to help. My personal favorite was to set up the altar, but I dreaded ordinary time because the color green seemed to be up FOREVER! Week after week we put the green paraments out and I longed for the red, or purple, or even white! Somehow even the title Ordinary described how I felt about the season. As I got older Rev. Bruce Maxwell told the congregation green was representing growth and that struck an epiphany within me. I realized unlike the name “Ordinary time” it was actually an extraordinary time in the liturgical calendar.
This part of the liturgical year we learn about the time Jesus was in ministry on earth. From the baptism by John the Baptist to Ash Wednesday, we study Jesus’ life, the purest and best, life lived as it should be lived. Life that came from God, walked with God in the world, and would one day be fully with God in the world to come. The life of Jesus is our light and model for how we too may live. As we recognize the image of our true humanity in the life of Jesus Christ, we also begin to understand that we have come from God, are invited to walk in faithfulness with God in this world, and one day will be welcomed to our eternal home, where we will still be with the God who loves us beyond our capacity to fully understand.
This season, with all of its green, remember this: To be given the precious gift of abundant and eternal life is extraordinary! The best thing we can do is to grow, learn, and live it as fabulously as we can.
With that thought, this column will return after the long, long (extra) Ordinary time!