On the fourth day, according to the book of Genesis, the Creator said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years" (1:14). The rest of the Bible sure seems to take that word seriously. A great many of the stories and commandments in both Testaments pertain to the celebration of certain seasons, holy days, and festival years. Many in our world today may believe that such observances belong to a bygone age, but the Church continues to celebrate time as a gift of God with special seasons, holy days, and years that tell the story of God and God's work in the world.
As many of you may remember, Pentecost Sunday (last May 15), marked the fiftieth and last day of the Season of Easter in the Christian calendar year. The time after the season of Easter can be called Ordinary Time or the season after Pentecost, because the story of Christ's outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) casts its long shadow over the whole history and mission of the Church. The season after Pentecost is the longest season of the Christian calendar year, which sees us all the way through to Advent and the beginning of the Christmas story all over again. The good news of the season is God's gift of the Spirit indwelling and empowering all believers for missionary service and abundant life in Christ.
"Ordinary time" might not sound like much to write home about, but I think the lesson of the season is that God uses ordinary people and ordinary means to do extraordinary work in the world through time. After the long holiday seasons of Christmas and Easter, it's time to find our place and settle in to the steady work of God for the long haul.