Ordinary Time? Make it extraordinary!

Did you know that we are in Ordinary Time?

It may still be summer and nights may be feeling like fall, but according to the church calendar this is Ordinary Time. Admittedly, this time of year can feel ordinary — plain, average, lacking special distinction, rank, or status. The dog days of August?

In this case the “ordinary” in “Ordinary Time” comes from the word ordinal, meaning rank in a series. We can consider Ordinary Time as counted time. Have you ever noticed the “count up” happening on the worship bulletins, “ninth Sunday after Pentecost,” “tenth Sunday after Pentecost,” etc. Next Sunday ask your kids to notice what week we are on!

A chart showing the percentage of time for various sessions of the church year
Ordinary Time occurs from the day after Pentecost until the first Sunday in Advent. This year it lasts from June 13 to November 26, 2011. That’s a long time – it takes up the biggest chunk of the annual pie shown on the right. Incidentally, Pentecost is the smallest slice of the pie – it lasts only one day! (Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday, marks the day when the Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples.)

It would be easy to consider the days of Ordinary Time not as ordinal time but as, well — ordinary! Other occasions in the church calendar are marked by rich meaning: Christmas, Lent, and Easter — no question, something big is happening in those areas of the church calendar! But there’s nothing special happening in Ordinary Time.

Or is there?

Might I challenge you to change your perception of Ordinary Time by practicing one small, ah, ordinal thing?

Count the extraordinary in the everyday ordinary.

One child helps another wild flowers

Seek God in the ordinary events of life. Whether it is in the natural world around you or the wonder of people interacting, or something as simple as laughter. Notice the presence of God in the commonplace. Keeping an ordinal list can help you obverse the extraordinary ordinary that is happening all around you!

Where did my list-making start? Read more by clicking on this button…

Button to access the web site: A Holy Experience.

kids on a dock Two women share a laugh Puffy white clouds against a blue, blue sky

How will you note ordinary time as extraordinary?

Photo credits: Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Kids on a dock photo by anolobb who licensed this photo under: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic. Rest of photos, from my archives. View the chart I created here.

Let one thing lead to another?

Do you have plans for the 4th of July – perhaps a picnic or watching a parade or some fireworks?

Doing these sorts of things is almost required! They are rituals!


Rituals and traditions are repeated activities that help family members develop a sense of belonging.

How about some traditions that help your kids realize they belong to God’s family? Try some of these:

  • How about attending Communion worship? (If you’re in the area, join us at FUMC. Communion is held on the first Sunday of every month). Being a part of God’s family involves worshipping God together.
  • Plan a time to gather together (frequently!) and read the Bible. Might I suggest looking here for our current study for kids? Being part of God’s family involves “knowing” God. We can know God by reading the Bible.
  • Choose a service project (perhaps once a month!) View a list of potential projects here. Being part of God’s family involves loving and serving God and others.
  • Once a week practice a time of Sabbath. (It doesn’t have to be on Sunday). Here’s a way to get started: Surrender one heavily used device and let it rest. (The TV? A cell phone? A computer?) Being part of God’s family involves listening for God.
  • Practice a time of thankful prayers. (For ideas see here.) Being part of God’s family involves talking to God.
  • Committ to learning a verse of scripture. How about John 3:16-17. Being part of God’s family involves living with God’s word in our hearts.
What rituals do you practice in your family?

Photo credits:
Fireworks by bayasaa who licensed this photo under: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

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