I did not grow up in church observing any sort of Christian Calendar. Church life centered around Christmas and Easter at those times of the year and there were special days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Although my family wasn’t Southern Baptist we were Baptists in the South so Homecoming, Vacation Bible School and revival meetings were annual observances. The vast majority of the year the pastor preached on whatever he felt led to, Sunday School teachers did the same, and all of that seemed perfectly normal to me.
If you Google ordinary time you will get a lot of results from Catholic sources and relating to the Roman Catholic Church. Many Protestant churches find they benefit from a Christian Calendar, like the one shown above, even without following a strict lectionary throughout the year. Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas, Lent is similarly the 40 days leading up to Easter, and then 50 days pass between Easter and Pentecost. These are important and busy times of year for most Christian churches of every denomination. Today is the first Sunday of ordinary time (although for some Pentecost day itself falls in ordinary time). I learned a lot about the Christian calendar – and many other things relating to church and worship – from Michael Spencer who used to lament the name ordinary time. To him it sounded bland, almost depressing, a constant reminder that another six months would pass before the really exciting stuff started happening again. I tell you what though, in the year 2020 the word ordinary has a certain appeal. Ordinary, regular, normal… these are words we practically fantasize about these days while being constantly reminded if not warned that we cannot act like everything is normal.
Just some thoughts I had. Make good use of the time whatever it’s like. Love God, love your neighbor, share the Gospel, be salt and light. I don’t have all the answers but I know for certain it will all be worth it. Bring on the ordinary time.