Devotional — Ordinary time

Published 2:12 pm Friday, June 24, 2022

Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. — NRS Deuteronomy 6:4

“What is ordinary time?” I have heard that question more than once. It derives from “Ordered Time” of the Church Liturgical Calendar. That calendar has always recognized two special cycles:

1. Advent, Christmas and Epiphany

2. Lent, Easter and Pentecost

With the exception of a few other specially designated Sundays, the rest of the liturgical year is designated as “Ordinary Time”. Not meaning to be ordinary as in uneventful, but on hearing the term one can barely help thinking that it is a “ho hum day”.

For a very long time this seemed strange to me that so much of our times of worship came on “ordinary Sundays”. After all, Sunday is the “Lord’s Day”, nothing ordinary about that! Then I read this section of Deuteronomy one day and realized that what it is saying about all our time. In our going out and coming in, in talking with our children and all of our family or with anyone; that in our simple acts of living life we are supposed to be remembering God revealed through God’s word and sharing that with each other. Thus on Sunday when we gather to worship, hear and proclaim God’s word and rejoice in God’s love we should be doing what we do every day. Sunday, a Sabbath day we set aside for God should in fact be ordinary to us because that is what we do each day.

I have heard it said that we are what we do when no one is watching; in the ordinary times of our lives. If we believe these verses our ordinary time should be constantly shared with God. That I believe makes every time very special.

Keith Leach is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at kleach@hsc.edu.