During Ordinary time, the season after Pentecost, it might appear that not much is going on, ecclesially speaking. There are no appointed fasts, no calls to paschal celebration and feasting. It is an appropriate play on words, this ordinary time in which we merely count the Sundays between Pentecost and Advent. In some ways the selected lectionary passages are a good, albeit sometimes dismal, reminder that, as a general lot, we humans are pathetically ordinary. There is nothing new under the sun. Our hearts have been deceitful for millennia, our tendency and eagerness to exclude others is an age-old problem. Our plotting and planning for most things less-than-good raises few eyebrows. It is to be expected. A glance down history’s memory lane shows that humans are actually quite ordinary in our sin.
What is far from ordinary is the reality that we are in a post-resurrection, post-ascension, post-Holy Spirit in-breaking season. It could be quite mind-blowing if we took the time to dwell on it. We are in the season that witnesses to a unique fullness of God's extraordinary lengths to love, reclaim, and redeem creation. We are invited in our very ordinariness -- warts and all -- to join in what God's about this season. God has equipped and will equip us to bear witness to God’s extraordinary love and power for the benefit of God's diverse and scandalous family.
Enuma Okoro, of Durham, North Carolina, is the author of Reluctant Pilgrim and co-author of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.