At the beginning of February, I will take down the last of the Christmas decorations. It’s not because I’m forgetful, but to remind myself that the celebration of Christmas lasts for 40 days, even if the chocolates don’t.
Lent and Easter aren’t too far away, but before we get there, the next few weeks bring us to something the Church calls ‘Ordinary Time’. ‘Ordinary’ is a bit of an unpopular word – sometimes ordinary things are thought to be plain or unexciting. We often want things to be extraordinary or special instead, but we need the ordinary as well.
Ordinary time is ordered or measured time. It is time to live in the present moment, time that is counted and marked not to wish it away or count it down but to savour and enjoy it. Ordinary time celebrates that God is involved in the everyday as well as the extraordinary.
Ordinary time makes special times like Christmas or Easter more special. Living for God week-by-week on ordinary days like Monday to Saturday mean that we will approach Sundays differently when we gather together.
The colour of Ordinary Time is green – the colour of growth.
Living for God in the everyday helps us to become measured people - people who celebrate the good, grieve the bad, and notice where God is to be found in the ordinary.