The Importance of Ordinary Time

“Ordinary Human Arms”  by Marianne Larsen
we put our arms around each other  / a pair of ordinary tax-paying human arms  
not to rest them  / but to harden them  / a pair of ordinary concrete-accustomed 
and marketed human arms  / a pair of ordinarily hugging  / human arms  
we put them around each other  / they are health-insured and ordinarily dressed  
a pair of ordinary love-interpreting  / human arms  / how strong they are  
sovereign, independent –  / no matter where  / no matter what the hour  
no matter what the season  / suddenly and for all time  / human arms  
without speculation  / we put them around each other  
as if to show that their powerlessness  / doesn’t exist

After the celebration of Pentecost, which is the Church’s birthday, we enter into the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time.  That is where we are now.  And actually, the bulk of the Church Year is considered Ordinary Time.  There are no major celebrations during this time.  No holidays.  No big preparations, anticipation, expectation.  Just ordinary people going about their ordinary business on ordinary days with their ordinary families and their ordinary lives.  But that’s just it.  Its “ordinariness” makes it extraordinary.  Possibilities abound on regular-ole, ordinary days.  The church blossoms and grows in ordinary time.  This is when the real work of the church is done.  The church learns how to be the church in ordinary times—when we are just going about our ordinary business.  Our everyday, ordinary actions reveal the most about who we are and what we believe.  It’s not the Christmas gifts we exchange or the parties we throw or the Easter meals we prepare.  It’s how we put our ordinary human arms to work.  It’s how we spend our time and energy and resources on a regular and consistent basis that make a difference in the world.  So as we continue through this season, let us be mindful of the blessings and opportunities in our midst.  They might seem ordinary, but they aren’t.

See you in church,


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