What Time is it?
This week begins a new season in the church calendar; the season between Pentecost and Advent. It’s called ordinary time. The term comes from the Latin word “ordo” which refers to order or succession. It refers to any Sunday outside of the season of Advent, Lent, or Easter. I think this transition to ordinary time is a perfect moment to ask some big questions of ourselves as individuals, families and even as a church, “What time is it; and what season are we in?”
Our cultural time, and our cultural calendar were severely disrupted last year. Our seasons were not the same; our celebrations diminished; our travel plans atrophied. Our time with loved ones washed away; It was disorienting to say the least. But now, some of what was normal is returning to us, and some of the ways we used to spend our time are opening back up. So perhaps this is space to clear our head and ask, “How do I enter this season and how do I need to spend my time?”
Let us first build a theology of time:
Time is part of God’s creation, and God declares it to be very good in Genesis 1.
Time, as part of creation, was warped and broken by the fall.
Time is part of the ‘all things’ that Jesus came to redeem and part of the ‘all things’ that Jesus would reconcile to the Father.
Jesus wants to redeem our time and teach us how to live in redeemed time as he did. Living in redeemed time, we would see what God is doing, see the people around us, and know better how to respond to our circumstances, as God would have us.
How might we reassess how to use our time in this next season so that we may gain wisdom? Paul speaks to this in his letter to the Ephesians, specifically in chapter 5.
Perhaps this is the season where we need to “wake up” because we have fallen asleep and then assess what bad habits need to be identified and rooted out. This passage is a challenge to root out bad habits and reintroduce good ones. A challenge to live in and for and from God’s kingdom, to have a gospel orientation, to love our neighbor, to share the hope that lies within us, and to reorient to worship. We can also think of the kinds of practices that help us gain grateful hearts to God.
As we then think about, “What time it is?” and, “How to make the most of the season we are entering into?”, I’d like us to think about three main areas
How can I/we become more present to God, present to others & present to my surroundings?
How can I/we regain a gospel orientation; willing to live in parallel w/God’s purposes?
How can I/we live lives of forgiveness and reconciliation?
There is no such thing as ordinary time because if Jesus is reconciling time to God, it is always pregnant with possibility.