ordinary time.

On January 1, I announced a new blog series here at Joy Woven Deep. If you haven’t seen that post yet, I encourage you to check it out, then come on back and join in the journey.

The Season of Ordinary Time

What is the time span of the season? Ordinary Time begins the day after Pentecost. In 2016, it began on May 16th. (Jared’s 30th birthday was last weekend and I needed to take a break from blogging, so I missed introducing Ordinary Time & documenting Trinity Sunday.) Holidays include:

Trinity Sunday – May 22
Visitation of Mary – May 31
Nativity of St. John the Baptist – June 24
Holy Cross Day – September 14
All Saints’ Day – November 1 (observed November 5)
Christ the King Sunday – November 20

What’s this season all about?
“Ordinary Time is the season of the everyday…perhaps it is for Ordinary Time that all of [the prior] seasons prepare us, for it is in our everyday lives that the lessons of each season play out and bring about change.”
– Lacy Clark Ellman, Sacred Seasons Calendar

“The Season after Pentecost is a season of Ordinary Time, after the Church is given the gift of the Holy Spirit as a companion and tasked with carrying out God’s work in the world. This is the longest season the liturgical year, celebrating our role in the ongoing life of Christ.”
– Jenn Giles Kemper, Sacred Ordinary Days Essentials Workbook

What’s the history of this observance?
Ordinary Time is different from the rest of the seasons in that it is, well, ordinary. This season is marked by the activities of the thriving Christian life – discipleship, faithfulness, service, relationships, ministry, stewardship, creativity, etc.

What’s it to me?
Mmm, Ordinary Time is our bread and butter, Christian. This is what we are here for. We store up and cherish the holy, wild moments of our faith – the moments occurring at advent, lent, Easter, Pentecost – and we treasure them as we go. The fact that Ordinary Time begins the dawn after Pentecost is fueled with meaning. Now that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, it is time to go and do, to love our neighbor and make disciples.

It’s easy for us to believe that commonness is empty or flat, but Ordinary Time tells us differently. Commonness is dimensional, it is filled with meaning and purpose. It’s the season we were designed to engage with all the calling, vocation, and passion within us. It’s the season where we empty ourselves on behalf of others, that they may know the love of Christ. I’m thankful for a season that gives hard work a rich context, weaving it in to the life hidden in Christ.

So, boil it down for me, would you?
Ordinary Time beckons us to engage our everyday lives with purpose, passion and reliance on the Holy Spirit. This is the season for ministry, discipleship, hands to the plow.

So, how could we observe it?

Read the Daily Office texts here or via this app.

Read the Lectionary texts.

Pray, or perhaps memorize, one or more of the prayers for Ordinary Time.

Read At The Intersection of Time and Eternity by Michelle Van Loon (a lot of links for various denominational observance of Ordinary Time included).

Download the Sacred Ordinary Days Essentials Workbook and grow in your understanding of Lent through the one page summary. Then use the workbook pages to reflect on the past season and reset for the season of Ordinary Time.

For kids: Ordinary Time lines up well in our part of the world with the conclusion of the school year and beginning of summer. As you make plans and/or a schedule for the summer with your kids, consider implementing a small service project or engaging in a ministry opportunity or two that will help your kids pick up on the rhythm of Ordinary Time.

I would love for you to join the conversation. Would you add your voice to the conversation via blog post comments or on my Facebook page and share your thoughts on these questions with us?

What are your ideas for observing Ordinary Time?

Which components of exploring liturgy and the Christian calendar are you thinking about this week?

Is this series serving you well? What are you enjoying? How could it improve?

From Him | Through Him | To Him,
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Author: Abby Perry

Abby has written for The Gospel Coalition, Christ and Pop Culture, Upwrite Magazine, and The Influence Network. She is the communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization and co-facilitates two community efforts—one promoting bridge-building racial reconciliation conversations and one supporting area foster and adoptive families. Abby graduated from Texas A&M University and currently attends Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her family live in College Station, Texas.