No Ordinary Time

                    We’ve recently celebrated the Easter season and Pentecost Sunday.  The period which follows, observed until the beginning of Advent, is usually called “Ordinary Time.”  That’s hardly the case this year!  Between Easter and Pentecost we were able fling off our face masks and wave “goodbye” to the restrictions of social distancing.  We rediscovered the joy in seeing one another face to face and sharing “holy” hugs and handshakes.  After more than a year of constraints, there can be nothing “Ordinary” about this time!

                    There never has been.  When we reflect upon the gift of the Spirit and the birth of the Christian church, we remain amazed that the last burning embers of the Jesus movement were fanned into an uncontrollable wildfire that spread around the world. The only way to account for the continuing life of God’s people is the presence of the risen Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit.

                     The church continues to live in the Spirit’s presence, but that’s not always as obvious as it needs to be.  That’s because we too often we think of the Spirit in individual and personal terms.  When that happens, the Spirit’s power to unite us is minimized, and a world desperate for community is disappointed.  The Holy Spirit is remarkably democratic, God’s gift to every disciple.  But the real purpose of the Spirit’s coming is corporate, not individualistic.  Pentecost fused together a mixed group of people so perfectly that they began to share everything they had, rather than focusing upon differences.  That is precisely the spirit most needed in the world today – and always.

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