Jesus said, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:20 (NRSV)
After the Day of Pentecost, Christians who follow a liturgical calendar enter the season known as “Ordinary Time,” which lasts until Advent and occupies a significant portion of the Christian calendar. The name seems fitting since no major Christian holidays occur during this season.
When I was young, I thought Ordinary Time sounded boring. After all, we weren’t actively anticipating Christ’s birth at Christmas or focusing on the disciplines of Lent. Ordinary Time felt long, uneventful, and thoroughly unexciting.
Now that I am an adult, Ordinary Time holds for me the comfort of familiarity. It also holds particular promise: God is with us — not just for big events or important celebrations but in the unremarkable moments of each day.
The meditations in this issue describe the comfort and peace, as well as the challenges that come with a deep sense of God’s presence in daily life. The theme, “God with us,” is not new. It is a thread that runs throughout scripture, and it appears in nearly every devotional I read. That God is with us during the extraordinary moments of our lives as well as the mundane and uneventful ones is a message that feels particularly appropriate for the long, unremarkable season of Ordinary Time. The assurance that God is with us today and always is worth hearing again and again, and it may make this season not quite so unremarkable after all.
"Many of us are used to the idea that we might speak to God or to Jesus. Maybe at times it feels like shouting into the darkness or whatnot, but it’s not hard to do—at least as an imaginative exercise. What’s harder—even imaginatively—is to try to hear Jesus speaking to us. Are we just making things up? Are we just using Jesus as a puppet to say whatever we want to hear?" READ MORE