Welcome to ordinary time, the long summer season in the church year during which there are few special days, no big celebrations, just every day life in a world where God acts continually. This is my favorite season; it is a time to live in a state of wonder. If we ask God to “open our eyes to see your[the divine] hand at work in the world about us,” as we do in Eucharistic Prayer C, God responds, and we see…
We see God’s graciousness in the beauty of our neighbor’s yards, where endless arrangements of the essentially the same flowers, purchased from the same places, create a surprising diversity. We see it when strangers become neighbors while working in adjacent yards, or barbecuing…or sitting beside each other at parades or while watching fireworks, or relaxing on a beach. Community comes alive in the summer in ways that winter just doesn’t allow. And it’s all very good.
Ordinary time is our challenge time. Having gone through the experiences of the incarnation, manifestation, redemption, and sanctification, we have all the tools we need to go out into the world and be the people of God. It’s our time to be the leaven that raises the world to a higher level of compassion, a greater acceptance of grace, a more intense devotion to God and each other. How well we do depends upon how much of the gospel story we have internalized, made our own.
I wish you all wonderful ordinary days. May you always know that God loves you, and surrounds you. May you always know that God accepts you, just as you are now, even while encouraging you to be even better. May you never be afraid to be kind, or to help another find freedom. May you always know that there is nothing that will ever separate you from the love of God, not even when those you love pass out of your life, through death or simply through life’s changes.
Today marks one of those changes in my life. This is the last commentary I will write for Examiner. It’s been a couple of years and over a hundred articles now, and it’s been fun – but other tasks at the church where I serve -- Christ the King in Charlotte -- command my attention and I don’t want to short-shrift anyone, least of all you. Thank you for sharing this leg of the journey with me. If the articles have been of any help, please share them with others, if you can. Most of all, remember to smile. You are cherished by God.
Be well, beloved.