By Pastor Barb
Wow. There sure have been some ups and downs as we have traced the life and ministry of Jesus since last Advent. We followed his story from birth to baptism to death to resurrection and, with his work among us completed, his ascension to heaven and the sending of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We might be a little breathless after all of that, and ready for a little break in the action. Well, sorry; that was just the beginning. The next chapter of our redemption story has already begun!
The period between Pentecost and Advent is sometimes called the “long green season,” because green represents growth and new life. This season of the church (along with the period between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday) also is sometimes called “Ordinary Time.” We will count 24 Sundays after Pentecost this year, before a new church year begins.
From Advent to Pentecost we celebrated the new creation that God has initiated, through Christ. God came among us as the Word made flesh. This is the time of our high church holidays, of Christmas and Easter and the rest, when we recall specific key events in the life of Jesus.
From Pentecost to Advent we celebrate “the mystery of Christ in all its aspects,” and God’s continuing work among us, through the Holy Spirit. This is how God comes among us now. In some ways, this is the most important time for us today. It is about becoming and being the church, and how God continues to empower us to keep building up the Kingdom of God that first broke into the world with the birth of Christ.
This season is called “ordinary time.” It may seem ordinary in comparison with our high holidays, but think about what our ordinary life involves, especially in our community. Poverty, hunger, homelessness, violence, fear, addiction, sickness, death—all of these things are part of our ordinary. They are with us every day. This season is about being church together, and seeing how God acts through us to build God’s new creation, even in the face of those challenges. So you see, there’s nothing ordinary about it. Stay tuned!