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.
“Prayer, searching the scripture, and service are means of entering into and sharing the heart, mind, and work of Christ. A balanced spiritual practice helps us get in step with the transforming rhythm of Jesus’ life with God: work and worship, engagement and rest, service and Sabbath, contemplation and action.” Read more.