Well, if it is not Christmastide or Lent, Eastertide or Advent, it can only be one thing—ordinary time. Now the annuls of history tell us that the “ordinary” of ordinary time comes from “ordinal”; as in, the ordinal numerals by which the weeks of ordinary time are numbered. But certainly the connotation “common” befits, just the same. Since, of course, before our eyes is neither the white or gold of Christmas or Easter, nor the purple or blue of Lent or Advent, but ordinary green. And if we look beyond the altar and observe our world at this time of year, we are seeing a lot of ordinary green, aren’t we? The dormancy of winter is over, the blooms of spring have come to full and we are wrapped in gorgeous green. How extraordinary is ordinary green?! An ordinary miracle, like a vibrant sprout bursting forth from a bare seed sown in mud.
The book of nature, it seems to me, might be suggesting that we take a second look at “ordinary time”. For this book whispers: the miracle is in the drops of dew on the blades of grass that we miss. The miracle is in the dancing dirt that is an ant colony, thriving. The miracle is in a community garden where a cat and groundhog live as companions, breaking the bread that unsuspecting humans plant.
So maybe the miracle for us is starting to suspect, and then suspecting, that there is more to ordinary than meets the eye—so look close, and look a while. There’s a bird singing a song for you. There’s a migrating band making a breeze. It’s all grace and a dance, and there’s a step for you to learn.
So heed nature’s whisper, and I’ll see you in worship, where Jesus comes to us in the “extraordinary ordinariness” of bread and wine. Where Jesus comes to us, and stops us, slows us down, returns us to look deeply into the here and now, into the miracle that is the present moment. And from a little bit of bread, and a whit of wine, grace comes and we dance, out into the streets, to proclaim the good news of our healing, the green, ordinary news, of God’s goodness.
Yes, this is ordinary time, and its good a time as ever, to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. Thanks be to God.