Pastor’s ponderings

According to the Christian calendar, we are now in the Season after Pentecost, a lengthy period of time lasting from last weekend’s celebration of Trinity Sunday through the last Sunday before Advent starts (the Sunday after Thanksgiving).  The period of time goes by other names as well: Kingdomtide or Ordinary Time.  It seems that not much goes on during this time; there are few special celebrations.  We come off multiple seasons of special Sundays crammed in the few months of winter and spring to a multi-month season where little seems to be celebrated.  Why is this?  As we journey through summer and fall, why is it that things seem so “ordinary” during Ordinary Time?  Shouldn’t we be celebrating all year long?  After all, didn’t Paul proclaim to the church in Rome, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!” (Romans 4:4, NRSV).

            So often, church activities and attendance begin to dwindle during the summer months.  As people take vacations and/or spend time with family, Bible study groups take breaks and Sunday services see fewer in the pews.  This may be the case even more this year.  Following the loosening of restrictions from a year of isolation due to the pandemic, many of us are eager to just get out there: to travel, to see family members, to do things we haven’t ben able to do in quite some time.

            Yet, the reality is: this season is about the church.  It is about how the people called Christians live out their faith in common time, in their daily walk of life, not just during special celebratory occasions like Christmas and Easter.  Following the gift of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ followers, we were bestowed with the task of carrying on his mission to the world.  It is during this season that we really get to see – are we “being” the church or just “doing” church?  Are we Christians when it is convenient and doesn’t interfere with our other plans or are we Christians committed to the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)?

            As this season begins, let us all remember the words of the final Psalm (Psalm 150), and do everything we can to live by it for these next many months:

            Praise the Lord!  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!  Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!  Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!  Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!  Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!  Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!

                                    Praise the Lord! (PTL),                                                

Pastor Steve

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