Into the Ordinary

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday. On other celebratory Sundays in the church calendar the church celebrates events — whether Pentecost, Christmas, or Easter — but this Sunday is different. This Sunday the church celebrates the reality of who God is: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is who God has revealed himself to be in Jesus Christ. I’m looking forward to pressing into the majesty and mystery of this reality together.

Following Trinity Sunday the church enters Ordinary Time. This time in the church calendar is so named because of the numbers used to count each Sunday, ordinal numbers. However, this season also serves as a reminder that much of our lives is, well, ordinary. Even as we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the reality of God’s Triune life, the season of Ordinary Time is a reminder that we share in that life in regular, plain life. The gift of the Spirit is enjoyed in ordinary time. 

Most of our lives consist of the ordinary stuff of chores, bills, career, relationships to maintain, commitments to make and keep. Through the season of Ordinary Time we are reminded that these everyday realities are lived out sharing in the life of God. In the middle of regular life God’s Spirit is present, working to shape us in the image of Christ, and empowering us to live as He did. We’re reminded that we meet God in the everyday and mundane stuff of life.

Much of our lives can be about escaping from the ordinary, longing for something irregular and extraordinary. Yet God works and is so often met as we are present to the ordinary stuff of life. In the history of the church, Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century monk, has proven to be a particularly able teacher of this truth. His book, The Practice of the Presence of God, has helped many ordinary saints attend to the Holy Spirit in their ordinary lives. As we journey through Ordinary Time, we at COTC will have the opportunity to read through this short book filled with simple and well-earned wisdom.

Over the next few Sundays copies of Brother Lawrence’s book will be available to pick up at the Phillips Event Center. Even If you’ve already read this classic, I encourage you to re-read with the expectation that God might have something new and fresh for you this season. May the God of all grace give us eyes and ears to meet Him in the ordinary stuff of life.
Grace and peace,

Peter Coelho