STEWARDSHIP OF ORDINARY TIME
The Holidays are over, the tree and decorations are down. Now we are in what the church calls “Ordinary Time.” One might ask, “What is ordinary time?” Ordinary Time begins on the Monday after the first Sundayafter January 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany) and runs until Ash Wednesday. Both Lent and the Easter season fall outside of Ordinary Time, which resumes again on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday and runs until FirstSunday of Advent (the start of the new liturgical year).
Most of us are pretty good at keeping the feast days of the church’s year. We have practices that remind us of the meaning of those days: Advent candles and Christmas lights and Easter lilies…and the family stories that shape our memory and our practice of those days. I think it’s important that we remember the extraordinary grace that accompanies even our most mundane days and our Ordinary Time. To be able to see the grace of God at work in our every day – that, it seems to me, is the beginning point of a proper stewardship of Ordinary Time.
The key to the stewardship of Ordinary Time is gratitude. Not the feeling, not what wells up inside of us, or doesn’t…but the practice, the learning curve. In days of joy and days of deep anguish and distress, remember Jesus wore a crown of thorns so that we might know his love. The words of grace we speak before we lift a fork or spoon… the whispered prayers of thanks with which we greet the new day … the prayers we help our children say at bedtime each night, naming the gifts of the day… the prayers of thanksgiving we voice in private or during church on Sunday mornings… the tithes and offerings we regularly set aside. They are all practice, all part of the learning curve, all part of our stewardship of ordinary time.
This past week during a meeting with my spiritual director, I was telling her about a practice they had on Facebook during November called 30 Days of Gratefulness, where each day I posted something that I was grateful for. I thought this was going to be difficult to do, but actually, it wasn’t. I think that one should be grateful for something each day and reflect on it as to “Why I am grateful for this.” She invited me to continue this practice of gratefulness and being reflective, and so I invite you to join me in doing this.
Praise God for your roses, thank Him for your thorns. When the going gets tough, the tough seek the Lord.
Seeing the grace of God…giving thanks. Seeing the grace of God… giving thanks. Those two practices form a gracious rhythm for the living of our lives and a pathway toward the proper stewardship of Ordinary Time.
On behalf of the Stewardship Committee