“Time is God’s gift. It’s what keeps everything from happening at once.”
There is a great deal of debate as to who first wrote this line. Einstein, Feynman have been identified. Scientists such as C. J. Overbeck and John Archibald Wheeler have used the phrase. The science fiction writer, Ray Cummings” wrote the phrase in his 1922 novel “The Girl in the Golden Atom”. I heard it first quoted from words inscribed on a plaque on a sundial in just this way.
For the last six months the church has marked a specific period of time divided into seasons: Advent, which encompasses the proclaims the coming of God – the Parousia (or Second Coming of Christ), the announcement of the Baptist that there is one who is coming who will be greater, and the birth of Emanuel (meaning “God with us”); Christmas, the celebration of God becoming flesh in Jesus of Nazareth; Epiphany, the time we set aside to witness the revelation of God in Jesus; Lent, the season during which we examine our relationship with this Jesus as sisters and brothers through baptism, adopted as his heirs; Easter, the vindication of Christ’s suffering and death through the resurrection and the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to send upon us the power that raised him up from death at Pentecost – the Holy Spirit. Six months of keeping time centering on the life of Jesus the Messiah.
For the next six months we turn our focus on the ministry of Jesus to which the community (the Body) of the Gospel is called to do and reflect in the world. This period has been called the “Season of Pentecost” referring to our living into the power of divine love which shatters the chains of death and sharing the abundance of creation. It has also been called “Ordinary Time”. Our word ‘ordinary’ comes from the Latin word ordinalis, which refers to numbers in a series, and stems from the Latin word ordo, from which we get the English word “order”. Ordinary Time is the period in which we live our lives neither feasting (as in the Christmas and Easter seasons) or in abstinence, reflection and penance (as in Advent and Lent). Ordinary time is lived in watching Christ coming in the everyday affairs of human life and reflecting the ministry of Christ Jesus through the ministry of the Church, the body of the gospel.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary.” This is a time to reflect on ministry, on loving Jesus as we “love” others – the neighbor near and the neighbor far. The neighbor “near” may be the ones with whom we live every day. The neighbor “far” maybe those next door, down the street, in the wider community, nation and world. And punctuating our time are days set aside to commemorate those faithful who have borne witness and have died. We look to their lives and see Christ reflected in their life. They are the examples of faith lived and expressed with all their foibles and courage. They are no different than you and me.
The “liturgical” cycle . . . liturgical from the Greek word “leitourgia” meaning the work of the people. It is a political term employed in the Greek city states for when the community gathered to consider its work, how it is to be in the world. We do that whenever we come to sing, listen, pray, eat and drink – all those things that keep us focused on who we are and what we are to be about in the world.
Interim Pastor – Chris Anderson