We’ve celebrated the two great cycles of the Christian Year, the Incarnation Cycle (Advent/Christmas/Epiphany) and the Resurrection Cycle (Lent/Holy Week/Easter). Now we travel through the long Season after Pentecost.
In some denominations this season is called “Ordinary Time.” And it often feels “ordinary” as it moves along Sunday after Sunday for nearly half the calendar year, without any of the distinctive seasonal shifts that occur during the Incarnation and Resurrection cycles. But “ordinary” in this case actually refers to our ordered movement through the numbered Sundays after Pentecost.
And what could be ordinary about moving through the gospel of Matthew, Mark or Luke, sharing in the adventures of Jesus and his followers? This year (Year C in our 3-year cycle of scripture readings) it’s Luke’s gospel and we encounter in it Luke’s particular “take” on Jesus’ actions, teachings, parables. Jesus’ participation in meals plays a large part in this gospel, as well as his compassion for the poor, his healing ministry, and the presence of women in his life and mission.
Through our Sunday-by-Sunday engagement with the gospel, we come to know Jesus, the ordinary human being of a particular place, time and culture who was also, extraordinarily, God. And we see more and more clearly how his actions, teaching, parables have meaning for our lives today, in our own particular place, time and culture. Love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, God’s desire for justice and peace for all persons – these shine through Jesus’ life and ministry, inspiring our own lives of love, service, advocacy for the poor and those in need. Jesus matters more than ever in times such as these. Won’t you join us for the extraordinary experience of journeying with Jesus through “Ordinary Time.”