From Ordinary to Extraordinary
Whew! Pentecost has come and gone, and we celebrated yet another Holy day alone, or with close family, in front of a computer screen or television worshipping together separately.
I always look forward to the Pentecost service with everyone wearing red, and to the possibility that there may be red velvet cake waiting during coffee hour as we celebrate what many call the birthday of the church.
Birthday--- because the Feast of Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples in Jerusalem. As you know, this infilling of the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples and other followers of Christ to go off into the known world spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
Pentecost is the last of our church festivals for a long time. It is always a mad rush from Advent to Christmas, Christmas to Epiphany, and on to the 40 days of Lent. Then we have the wonderful celebration of Easter Sunday and the 50 days of Easter culminating in the celebration of Pentecost.
And then, after 6 months of the changing colors of our church year, we are in ordinary time. Ordinary time, sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Granted, during these days of Covid 19, “ordinary” sounds pretty darn good. In ordinary time our focus shifts from days of anticipating Christmas and Easter, of fasting through Lent, to a slower pace where we meander through the church calendar with little to excite us.
My neighbors are Ukrainian Orthodox Monks, and each year they gift me with their church calendar. I am always amazed looking at this record of their feast days, of their observations of the birthdays of Saints, of fasts and celebrations. It seems that almost every other day is special. Every day is holy in its own way. Their season following Pentecost is anything but ordinary.
I encourage you during this strange new reality we find ourselves in to follow the example of my neighbors and make each day extraordinary. Seek out the holy in every hour. As we move into summer, find the holy mystery in the flight of the bumblebee and the ever-changing life you find within your gardens and in nature. Take moments each day just to sit quietly and be present to God, allowing God’s Holiness to surround you and fill you. Practice kindness, be gentle to others and yourself, forgive others and forgive yourself. Know that you are not ordinary, but are an extraordinary child of God.
May God’s light and grace surround you now, and always.