We are now entering into the month of June. I have personally always felt like June was a slow month. Most years, it seems like it goes on forever and at times I would classify it as boring. From Memorial Day at the end of May to the Fourth of July is largely a transition month from the spring to summer, from school time to summer vacation, and so forth. It is overall quite “ordinary.”
In June, the Church moves into the section of the church year that we call the Time after Pentecost. This time is quite often referred to as “ordinary time.” It is a time in which we are neither in Advent or Christmas nor in the time of Lent and Easter. Instead of the purple, blue, white, and gold, we see the color green. Some Christians joke that it is called “ordinary time” because it too is long and boring. In fact, there are around 33 Sundays in the church year that are in “ordinary time.” Like the month of June, this “ordinary time” feels like a transitional period when nothing seems to be happening. It is quite “ordinary.”
However, the word "ordinary" here does not mean “routine” or “not special.” Instead, it refers to the "ordinal numbers" (first, second, third, etc.) used to name and count the Sundays (such as the Third Sunday after Pentecost). This term comes from the Latin ordinalis, meaning "numbered" or "ordered," and tempus ordinarium, “measured time. Thus, the title “ordinary time” is not given to emphasize that this period of time is boring, but instead it was for practical reasons for organizing this time.
However, sometimes I believe that it can be helpful to play with the meaning of the word “ordinary” in order to better understand this season of the church year. I like to think of “ordinary time” as being a time when we read scripture stories about Jesus and his disciples that take place on regular ordinary days. When we look at this season and these texts in this way, we are reminded that Jesus is not only present in these extraordinary times of Christmas and Easter but also in our daily lives. He comes to us to lead us and guide us, and to teach us how to be his disciples. He is present with us in our “ordinary” lives. However, these moments are far from boring. Instead, Jesus comes into our lives in extraordinary ways, and in these moments, we grow in discipleship and grow in our relationship with Christ. The color of the season is green, and this color is used to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ. So Church, I challenge you this month to look for Christ in your everyday lives, and to see how extraordinary that he is. I challenge you not to see this Time after Pentecost as boring or traditional. Instead, let us find Christ in our lives and let him work through us and guide us to where we need to be. May God bless and keep you and give you peace.
In Christ, Pastor Ethan Doan