Ordinarytime: Loving the daily divine
Finally, we come to the last and longest season of the Christian Calendar year called Ordinarytime, which spans from the end of Eastertide to the beginning of Advent.
Ordinarytime is the season to attend to the holiness of our daily lives. We passed through Advent, where we considered the mystery of the human person whose dignity it is to accept the invitation to become the maternal spouse of God, profoundly co-operating to bring Christ’s life to the world. We then celebrated Christmas, where we apprehended the humble incarnation of the cosmos’ Creator and reflected on the astonishing humanity of Jesus.
In the season of Epiphany we meditated on the miracles and events that revealed Jesus’ divinity, and we came to understand the two natures (human and divine) of Christ to whom our souls are wed. During Lent, we pondered the devastation wrought by our infidelities and the myriad inordinate attachments and desires which draw our affections away from our Lord.
Then, during Holy Week, we walked alongside Jesus to the cross where He assumed and redeemed those devastations, so that we may once again truly and freely love and know we are beloved by God. Eastertide was a sustained reflection on the miracle of resurrection and the eternally evergreen life on offer through Christ’s victory over death.
And now we come to Ordinarytime.
The very sound of “Ordinarytime” seems a bit of a let down after the drama that has preceded it. The word “ordinary” suggests commonplace, uninteresting and featureless, and describes a person with no special merit or distinction. But if we simply replace what we usually mean by ordinary with “daily,” a new appreciation becomes possible.
For Ordinarytime is the season in which we come to realize the astonishing holiness of our daily lives as a consequence of all we have previously considered. Here, we begin to understand with joy that the daily is impregnated with the divine.
The very first Sunday of Ordinarytime is Trinity Sunday. Although it doesn’t get much “press” compared to days like Christmas or Easter, I contend that Trinity Sunday is the highest and most magnificent peak of illumination on the landscape of the Church calendar year.
Everything that has preceded is pointing toward, and is a mere foothill relative to this great revelation. Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection all conspire to bring us to this moment when we see the community (Father, Son, Spirit) that is God’s eternal love and life, for which we have been redeemed, and into which we have been whole-heartily invited. And it is from this dizzying summit that we look down on the plains of dailyness and see it both bathed and infused with the light of God’s intrinsic mutuality, goodness and love.
The whole point of attending to the Christian Calendar year is to come to this moment where we awaken to the mystery of a dailyness which, far from ordinary, radiates back to God’s own being and, ironically, to know in our bones that nothing conceived and sustained under God’s gaze is by any means ordinary.
Winnipeg based singer/songwriter Steve Bell is the author of the multi-media e-book series Pilgrim Year: Scripture, story, song, poetry, and art to explore the Christian calendar. Available online at: www.stevebell.com/pilgrim-year.
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