Monday, July 05, 2010

July 5

It's a lazy Monday morning.

The house has that post-party feel to it after being filled with food, family, and laughter yesterday.

Coffeeson enjoyed his first fireworks...at least the part he was awake for.

Now the long stretch of July summer days begins where one day doesn't seem especially different from the next: they're all sunny and hot, they're all filled with the daily tasks of ministry or time with family. The church sanctuary is warm without being uncomfortable this time of year. I'll roll out the grill just because I can, or I'll sit on my deck sipping a beverage in the morning or evening when the temps are cooler.

For the past few years, I've lamented the summer months: they seem long, uneventful, and undifferentiated. I'm beginning to appreciate these days again, largely for those same reasons. What good does it do to wish them away when so much could be made from them, even if it's simply enjoying the quiet?

This is Ordinary Time for the church, where we live Sunday to Sunday rather than season to season. We're encouraged to seek God in the everyday; in the mundane, rather than during special times of the year.

During my sabbatical, I learned how antsy I can get with my free time. I'm still learning how to temper that antsiness; how to live into the truths of Ordinary Time that have to do with resting in the Spirit's presence and not trying to program every moment of the day.

These long, lazy days of summer are as good a time as any to do that. Or not do that. You know what I mean.

2 comments:

Elane said...

I'm on sabbatical now, coffee in hand. It's a different kind of time, for sure.

Steve Swope said...

I've never been quite comfortable with the moniker "Ordinary Time." I learned this as the Season of Pentecost, in which we reflect on the life of the Church, historically and today - "Jesus in his new Body the Church" as Clarence Jordan put it.

The UMC has also called the second half of this time (say, from September onward) Kingdomtide, and there's a subtle but noticeable shift in at least the Gospel lessons.

As I read them, the first few months of Pentecost are instructive and encouraging. But the mood changes, and there's a sense of "what are you waiting for? Get to work" about the later lessons.

Anything but "ordinary," IMO.