In “liturgical-speak”, “The Time after Epiphany” is also known as “Ordinary Time.” The problem is that “Ordinary Time” is anything but “ordinary!” It’s the time that the church reacquaints itself with Jesus. The baby is born, the boy grows-up, and suddenly the young man is on a God-ordained mission. Infused with the Holy Spirit, he heals, he preaches, he teaches, and in so doing, he upsets the religious status-quo. He ushers-in the “UpsideDown Kingdom,” and the world is never the same again!
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate more fully the nature of the one whom we call “The Christ,” and what it means to be one his followers. Living as we do in a land where freedom of religion is a given, we forget the places in the world where that is not the case. The danger is that we can take our religious freedom for granted, and by extension, we can take our religious practices for granted, as well.
Being a follower of “The Way” assumes that we live out our corporate and private lives with intentionality. As with any other kind of discipline, being a Christian takes practice. Prayer, worship, Biblical study, and service to others all require focus and attention to detail.
Every decision we make, every conversation we have, every business deal we ink, every relationship we cherish assumes we do it with an eye on the One who names us and nurtures us. Being a follower of “The Way” claims the totality of our lives.
Do we always get it right? Not by a long shot! But we try never-the-less. As with any other practice, being a follower of The Christ encompasses the whole of our being. Everything is on the table – nothing is hidden from Him. The rewards are well worth the effort, though! That’s why “thanksgiving” and “celebration” are integral parts of our journey with The Christ, too! Joy undergirds our souls!
So, during this extra-ordinary time of your life, strive to be the person God calls you to be. It takes effort, it takes discipline, it takes determination, it takes focus, but we are all better Christians for the effort! We do it because that’s what we’re “called” to do. We don’t do it for the rewards, or the glory, or the attention, or the credit. No, we do it because of our love of Jesus – the One who makes our lives worthwhile!
Grace & Peace, Kent