The Extraordinary Within the Ordinary

We are settling deep into the long stretch that the church calls "ordinary time." Our readings span the "Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time" to the "Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time." That feels like enough to get a yawn out of anybody. No startling birth, no earth-shaking resurrection, no wild Pentecost wind to stir us up these days.

But the pocket of Earth in which most of us reading this live is about to enter its most beautiful season, by my estimation. Leaves are turning, birds are moving, an expectant chill is setting in. Our task this season is to see the truly extraordinary within the ordinary; to know that behind the splashes of color and crispness of days is the invisible hand of a God who lovingly keeps it all in motion-and who calls us always to faithfulness.

September 3: Filling the Emptiness
Psalm 81:1, 10-16, Jeremiah 2:4-13, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, Luke 14:1, 7-14

Ah, what forgetful people we are. God needs to keep reminding us-"Remember that thing I did back at the sea when I parted the waters and led you to freedom?" The psalmist recounts the deed here, as other biblical writers do again and again throughout the scriptures.

The people of God have a tendency to forget, to run off in other directions. As the prophet Jeremiah recounts it, they "went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves" (Jeremiah 2:4). What an indictment! We become what we follow; we turn into what we love.

Jeremiah uses the metaphor of the people forsaking the fountain of living water offered by God and turning instead to cracked and leaking cisterns. They chased after emptiness.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1995
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