(In The Life Of The Church)
On Pentecost and Ordinary Time
Every year, I expect Pentecost to be a whole season of the Church calendar. It’s not. It’s a day. Which is insane to me, given how electric that day is. On that day, we remember the infusion of the Spirit into the fledgling Church with all the typical sci-fi level flare of really significant moments in the Bible. That moment is the answer to the anxiety of abandonment that comes with Jesus’ Resurrection and soon-after Ascension. It’s also the moment where we understand how it is possible that the Apostles—who, even after the Resurrection, have had more than a little bit of trouble understanding exactly what Jesus was calling them to—were able to pull themselves together and get to the work Jesus projected for them. But one day. That’s it. Then it’s done.
But perhaps not.
The week after Pentecost is the beginning of the longest season of the liturgical calendar, which is Ordinary Time. We’ll be occupying this space until December. The Sundays of Ordinary time are numbered by their proximity to Pentecost (1st Sunday after, 2nd Sunday after, etc.), so it’s not a stretch at all to say that there is some sort of relationship between the two. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Ordinary Time is Pentecost-infused. In the Acts narrative, after all, the Pentecost event itself is brief, though monumental, but then the Spirit’s presence among the Church drives everything else that happens afterward, though not always in ways that are tongues-of-fire-level-special. So perhaps in this long stretch of Ordinary Time, this sort of unseasoned season, we find that the concerns and themes that arise out of the Event of Pentecost (Spirit, interconnectivity, transformation, etc.) are in fact fundamental the Christian life, and that which was particular on Pentecost becomes the undercurrent of our normalcy.
Side note: Ordinary Time means “ordered” or “numbered” time—best I can tell, that’s because of the “Xth Sunday after Pentecost” thing. I don’t think we lose anything worth keeping by allowing ourselves to lean into our more straight-forward meaning of “ordinary,” and consider this a season where, instead of primarily looking back in history, or ahead, or within, we look around.
We have a mission statement at ubc, but you would be forgiven if you couldn’t quote it. It is this: ubc seeks to form a community of people in the way of Christ that embraces beauty and lives missionally. You could summarize this by saying we have three core values: discipleship, arts/beauty, and missional living. I’m working on an amazing chart that overlays our values with the Church calendar. It will be the best chart. You won’t believe it. Please try to contain your excitement. Anyway, it will associate discipleship with Lent, arts/beauty with Eastertide, and missional living with Ordinary Time. (Sorry for the spoilers).
Ordinary Time is an interesting contrast to Advent. If Advent is where we look around and see how dark the world is and how very badly it needs a Light, Ordinary Time is where we look around, see how dark the world is and happen to have a Light to hold up. Taken differently, the part of the Story that launches us into this season shows the fledgling people of God coming to terms with what it means to be the presence of Christ in the world. And it is this same question we must raise for ourselves during this season. We must ask what it means to be people who are somehow the Body of Christ in our immediate location in time and space. Or, differently, what does it meant to carry out of the work of Christ in our immediate surroundings? The way we answer these questions will tell us what we think it means to live missionally.
So carry these questions with you for the next couple of months. If you think you know how you would answer them, pretend you don’t—afterall, you aren’t the same person you were a year ago, and you don’t live in the same world you lived in a year ago. And we ask these questions together, let us remember that the same Spirit that dwelt among the fledgling Church as they navigated their identity and mission dwells among us now.
As always if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk more about this, feel free to email email@example.com.
STARTING NEXT WEEK (6/18) all Root Class kids (1st-4th Grade) will start the worship hour in the worship service. Before the sermon they will be dismissed by Pastor Josh into their own formational time where they can be picked up after the service.They will still need to be checked in before the service begins. If you have any questions email Taylor@ubcwaco.org.
UBC Summer Party Uno - June 11th @ 6pm
UBC's first summer party is coming up on June 11th, at 6pm. The Richardson's have graciously agreed to host, and a grand time will be had by all! This is a great opportunity to get to know other folks in the church. UBC will provide the burgers/hotdogs/vegan burgers and all the fixins, but we would like you to bring a side to share. We will have a sign-up sheet in the foyer this Sunday and next, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up. Please sign-up so we know how much food to cook. If you have any questions, ask Toph.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky & Juliet
Coffee Makers: Noel Carlson
Mug Cleaners: Zunigas
Money Counter: Doug M
- Sunday Sermon: Genesis 1:1-2:4
- Tuesday Dives Location: Dubl-R - 12 P.M.
- 6-11 UBC Summer Party Uno - 6 P.M. @ the Richardson's
- 6-18 OOTP Picnic (BYOLunch) After Church Redwood Shelter
- 7-1 OOTP Girls/Boys Night 5-9 P.M. Meet @ UBC
- 7-10 OOTP Go Bowling 5:30-7:30 @ Baylor SUB
- 7-21: Summerside (Open Mic)
- 8-6 OOTP Pool Party After Church @ Baylor SLC
- 8-13 OOTP Parent Meeting After Church @ UBC
- 8-23 OOTP First Meeting!!! (Welcome 5th graders!) 6-8 P.M. @ UBC
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