We are in Ordinary time. It doesn’t feel so ordinary, does it?
Ordinary time is part of the liturgical calendar in which there are no special Holy days, or preparation for those Holy days (like Lent and Advent). United Methodists sometimes follow the calendar, sometimes we don’t. As I’ve said before, I generally enjoy following the rhythms of seasons. I find it important as our society is increasingly detached from nature.
I think about vision a lot. This morning, I looked down at the scale before I got into the shower….I couldn’t read it all! Why? I wasn’t wearing my glasses.
How many of you wear corrective lenses? I’ve been wearing glasses since 2nd grade. At 19, I moved to gas permeable contact lenses. Those little guys are hard, and if it moves wrong on your eye, or something gets in it, it’s painful. Eye makeup tends to be a risk. At night I go back to my glasses, which are a big bold blue.
Everything is a blur without my corrective lenses. If I’m in my own home, I can generally tell what big objects are which. If I’m elsewhere, I’m at a loss. I can see better with my contact lenses than my glasses, though they give me more grief. Glasses, however, get dirty easily and I lose my peripheral vision.
Jesus often says things like “Come and see”. I’m constantly aware of how I see things, depending on which lenses (or no lenses) I use.
God calls us to look deeper. In a complex world, simplicity enables us to make the main thing the main thing. This August, I’m encouraging us to look at “ordinary” things. I’m reminded of the English mystic Julian of Norwich. She focused on a simple hazelnut. From that was revealed the profound and deep love of God. She summarized what she learned: “In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it. The second that God loves it. And the third, that God keeps it.”
This year has brought a lot of broken things to light. What is ordinary, or what we consider ordinary, is now seen in a different way. For those who are not used to change, this is especially upsetting. Some have such a hard time with it, they may stubbornly stick to the script that they know and not allow for any deviation. For others, change can only be accepted in doses. Yet the world doesn’t seem to allow such luxuries.
One of the hallmarks of Methodism is growth. Growth implies change. We may be a bit rusty, but we were meant for this upheaval! The Way of Christ gives us the ability to surf these tides of change, and to thrive!
Centralia First United Methodist Church 506 S Washington Ave 98531 360-736-7311