Ordinary Time

Posted on May 31, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

Ordinary:

adjective
with no special or distinctive features; normal; ”he sets out to depict ordinary people”.

Similar: usual, normal, standard, typical, stock, common, customary, habitual, accustomed, everyday, regular, routine.

example of usage:
not interesting or exceptional; commonplace.”he seemed very ordinary”

noun
what is commonplace or standard; ”their clichés were vested with enough emotion to elevate them above the ordinary”



I don’t know how may parishes in my beloved Armidale diocese observe the Church Calendar and so I know even less if there are parishes in the Sydney diocese that observe it, (my guess is about ten?). But for those of you who have a vague curiosity about it or foggy recollection of it, we are once again about to enter in what the church calendar refers to as
Ordinary Time.

Taken as a unit, the season of Ordinary Time is the longest season of the liturgical year and is composed of 33 or 34 weeks (June to November).

Although it is long, and the liturgical colour is green (which I do not see the same way as everyone else thanks to being colour blind), it is far from ordinary, for it is the time where we strive to growing together as the Body of Christ and His witnesses in the world, to grow in our Love for God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The means to our growth is being grounded in the Word of God, being people of prayer, being nourished spiritually by the sacraments and being encouraged and encouraging each other.

So if you are one of those Anglican Christians who observes the church calendar, how are you going to spend the time, the ‘ordinary time’?

Here are some tips:

1. Remember that you follow the risen and ascended Lord of the Universe, the Lord Jesus! Who ascended into Heaven, not to rest, not to relax but to reign!

2. Be consistent in your time with God. This is why I find the Daily Office such a helpful thing. It gives me the rhythm and routine that I am made for and at the same time makes prayer and the word part of that rhythm and routine. (The Daily Office), is to put it simply, a time during the day where Christians prayer and read the Bible. It is based on the ancient practice of prescribed daily times of prayer.  Although the Prayer Book is not in vogue or used by most parishes, the Prayer book has a daily service in the morning and evening for this very purpose. Anglican theological and author, the late  J.I. Packer says, “None of us will! ever find a better pattern for private prayer and Bible-reading anywhere than that offered by the Prayer Book’s own daily offices.”

3. Be committed to your church. Although since the Covid lockdown opportunities for online church are so much more readily available, there is no substitute for face to face fellowship and physical corporate worship. It is also easier than ever to have a laissez-fair attitude to church, since we can attend anywhere at anytime, with no checks.

4. Be open and honest with God about your sin. Do we have the determination to see ourselves before God as we are, without excuse. We must face “the things what we have done and the things that we have left undone.” How am I participating in the systems of the world and the flesh? In what ways have I given the devil place in my decisions? 

5. Get practical with your faith  None of us can expect to follow the Lord Jesus and simply have our own comforts baptised. Sacrifice has to cut deep. The Lord Jesus calls us all to radical discipleship and it is costly.  It costs to be an agent of the Kingdom in this world. Where are we letting go of the riches we cling to in order to use our time, energy, and resources to serve, the body of Christ and also to help those in need?

6. Be a contagious Christian The Christian faith is contagious, it is to be shared and spread. Pray that God will grant you boldness and opportunities to introduce people to the Lord Jesus. I am praying that this time will open people’s eyes to the folly of the cultural idols that are in our lives and will be receptive to the Lord Jesus and the abundant life he offers.

We may be in ordinary time, but following the Lord Jesus is far from ordinary!

– Joshua Bovis is the Vicar of St John The Evangelist in Tamworth.