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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

7 June 2013: Sylvia Roberts, St Peter's Church, Petersfield

What is ordinary time for you?

I have a friend who loves taking down Christmas decorations because she says she likes to get things "back to normal" or "in order". This started me questioning what is "ordinary time" for you? Is ordinary time boring, tedious and lacking in any event or is it regular and everyday with the comfort or routine?

The days and weeks after Pentecost in May and through to Advent in December are known as "ordinary time" in the Church's calendar. The great weeks of Christmas, Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost are over and there are roughly 28 weeks of "ordinary time" ahead.

That is the time we are just embarking on now. Perhaps, some may think that as it's so ordinary, it's a time to disregard the Church until the excitement of Christmas comes again? Yet, if we reflect on everyday life as we live it, much (most?) of our time is ordinary but, like my friend, we rather like that.

We enjoy the order of daily routine, the comfort of knowing where we are and what will probably happen today and the regular heartbeat of the familiar.

In Church life, when the festivals are over we have more time for reflection, for prayer, for caring for those who are in any kind of need and to gather round the table week by week, as many families also do to share the familiar meal.

We have more time for meeting and greeting each other free of the excitement and pressure of arrangements for special days and we have time for the fours R's - rest, recreation, renewal and replenishment.

So as we settle into ordinary time, let us spare a thought for the many millions of people in the world who would give anything to experience the "ordinary" that we enjoy.


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