What do you think of when you hear the word “ordinary”? Perhaps you think of things that are boring, normal, or familiar. Yet the ordinary—the routine humdrum parts of life—can be some of the most formative and impactful. We are just so used to these things that we perhaps we don’t recognize this.
The Church understands that God is a part of all aspects of our lives, including the ordinary and mundane. We even have a portion of our Church calendar called “Ordinary Time." This time occurs between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, and between Pentecost and Advent. Ordinary Time uses green as the liturgical color for the altar and vestments.
This season contrasts with the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Christmas-tide (extra-ordinary times), when we remember and celebrate “the specific, historic, supernatural acts of God in history that result in the salvation of creatures and creation” (Webber, Ancient Future Time).
While ordinary time may not recall specific saving acts of God in history, it does recognize that God’s saving acts and mighty works continue to break forth into our lives everyday through the working of the Holy Spirit.
In ordinary time, we continue to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ every Sunday through the preaching of God's Word and the celebration of Holy Communion. This is also a time when pastors may decide to preach through a book of Scripture for the edification of the Church.
To better understand Ordinary Time, think of a meaningful marriage. A couple does not only grow during special events like their wedding day, anniversaries, and the birth of their children (although these are important elements of their relationship); they grow through their daily connection with one another, through the ordinary things like conversation, sharing meals, and even chores.
Similarly, we the Church, the Bride of Christ, grow closer to our Bridegroom in the ordinary time while also recognizing the importance and significance of the “extraordinary time.”
It is in this time that God continues to shape us through his Word and Sacrament. In the everyday, in the non-eventful times, we still need Jesus Christ; we still must cling to him for our salvation and our sanctification. Because of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, no day is truly ordinary. Each day is a day we are called to obedience and relationship with the Triune God.