We are now in the twenty-fifth week after Pentecost, the final month of Ordinary Time. The days are getting shorter, the evenings darker, and, frankly, I am weary. There are many reasons for my fatigue, but from a liturgical perspective (one of my favorite perspectives! J), the truth is that the season after Pentecost seems extraordinarily long and drawn out this year.
The big seasons have a sense of drama, along with the excitement of the liturgical activities, and the creativity that often accompanies them. Ordinary Time rarely receives this kind of attention, or intention, from pastors and worship planners. It is difficult to sustain the connections in a phase of the liturgical calendar that spans half of the year, and sometimes it feels like we’re simply going through the motions, rather than fueling people’s imaginations. The Ordinary Time lectionary invites us to dive into the narraphores (a mash-up of stories and metaphors) of Jesus’ life; tales full of mystery and questions and wonder. But often our focus is elsewhere.
With five weeks left until Advent, what do I need to do to remain patient in this season? How can I make the most of the days still to unfold, not shifting too quickly to what is next, but continuing to move forward with anticipation?
Part of the answer is to find a sound track to help with the wait. Perhaps it will feature a few familiar favorites, but it should also include something random and new. Random and new requires attention in ways that the familiar does not. Attention reveals surprises, and surprise fuels patience. Time moves more quickly because of the energy that accompanies wonder. And wonder is always an antidote to waiting.
May you find wonder and surprise in the week ahead – when you do, take note!