It’s June! I wonder if you are like me – and can’t quite believe that we are now half way through 2018! Time seems to race by, everything is busy and fast-paced, and times of quiet reflection – times to pause – seem hidden, far and few between.
I was speaking to a friend who is also ‘the new vicar’ like myself. We were speaking about the need to block out times in the diary to ‘take a deep pause – to catch breath. But the trick is, of course, to make sure the time allocated for this good cause is not hijacked with yet another task – because it just can’t wait and we have to fit it in somewhere! Is this sounding familiar??
The church community is made up of all sorts of people, all doing different things in their different places – taking children to school, juggling work/home life, looking after family members who are ill or in need or perhaps doing some voluntary work to name a few. But the glue that binds them together is the sense that when they gather to ‘do church’ on a Sunday – or any other time of the week that we happen to meet as church – whether it be to worship, to plan and enjoy social time together, to think about how to reach out and make friends/help others – or to think about the business of keeping things ticking over in terms of building, finance and fabric – time enters into a different rhythm. The natural rhythm of God’s time does not involve a calendar and clock – it involves seasons, seasons of nature and seasons of life.
And so it is that St Peter’s finds itself moving into the Church’s season of ‘Ordinary Time’. To be ‘ordinary’ tends to have mildly boring or unexceptional undertones – nothing special…. But there is nothing ‘ordinary’ or unexceptional about this time. It offers an opportunity to take a deep breath, to prepare and plan how best to ‘order’ our inner and outer life, and to think about deepening our understanding of what it means to be connected in heavenly terms to God and to be connected in earthly terms to the world around us.
But actually – it is all the same at the end of the day. Take Jesus for example. He lived an ordinary life but with the extraordinary quality that comes when an action in earthly time is infused with the timeless love of God – and oh, what love… Even an ordinary picnic turned into the most miraculous and spectacular bread-and-fish fest! And it is that ‘extraordinariness’ that we try to seek to live out as Christians today in Wrecclesham – doing every-day, ordinary things with extraordinary, Spirit-infused goodness, kindness and joy – in the church and beyond. Quite frankly, what is there not to love about living in ordinary time?
Rest assured, in a world of brokenness and darkness, extraordinary loving-action will always bring a healing light to bear somewhere – in some way.
May God’s blessings rest on all your ordinary days to come…