Weekly Devotion for February 7, 2022
By Forrest Wells
We are in the lectionary season of Ordinary time, sometimes called Common time. Outside of the grand Christian seasons of Advent / Christmas and Lent/ Easter is mostly Ordinary time. I like this lectionary season of ordinary time because it is a true reflection that life is mostly lived, not on the mountain height of celebrating great events, but is lived in ordinary ways. The wedding is a celebration, but the marriage takes work. A birth of a child carries much enjoy, but then the work of raising that precious baby to adulthood begins and life has changed. A new job comes along or a new opportunity and excitement builds and then the day to day sweat in the trenches of life takes place. Ordinary time. We suffer through illness, disease, grief, loneliness and hardship of many kinds in this Ordinary time.
I'm actually glad that most of the year of scripture reading through the lectionary is in this season of Ordinary time because that is the way we spend most of our lives. Plus it is a great reminder that God chooses to work through ordinary people in extraordinary ways.
In Matthew 17:1-8 and two other Gospels the Transfiguration of Jesus is recorded. Something incredible happens as Peter, James and John went up the mountain with Jesus. It is written that Jesus' face was transfigured, his face shone like the sun and there appeared with him Moses and Elijah. The three disciples were terrified! Then they went from terror to bewilderment to eventually exhilaration. In another gospel Peter spoke up and said maybe we should build a structure and just stay here. But Jesus essentially says, don't be afraid, get up, we can't stay on the mountain there is work to do. Ordinary time.
I have often fallen into the trap of trying to manufacture the next grand mountaintop experience, whether a special event for the local church or training for clergy or a vacation adventure, I want people to feel exhilarated about life, about God, about the relationships we share together. Yet the real stuff of life, the real difference we make is usually in the day to day work and activities that we experience with family, friends, co-workers, the community of faith. It is the ordinariness of life that gives such great meaning to the Mountaintop experiences that we do have. So, when we get those opportunities for celebration of the stages of life, enjoy and give thanks for the gift of God's presence through it all!
Gracious God I am thankful that you are Immanuel throughout the entire year. You are with us in the high points of celebration and in the low points of discouragement you are with us. Thank you for blessing the ordinary days with your extraordinary love. Amen