On the church calendar, we are invited into days and seasons of fasting and feasting, but the majority of the calendar is considered ‘Ordinary Time.’ While there are times for celebration and times for lament, most of life is simply… ordinary. Yet, ordinary does not mean this time is empty of God’s presence and the chance to live with God. This summer, we are examining just a handful of the many opportunities we have to live with God in the ordinary spaces of our lives.
Week 1: The Present Moment
In the first week of our series, Father Albert Haase guided an examination of the present moment. How might we participate in the sacrament of the present moment?
This week, we invite you to continue the practice Father Albert outlined: stop, look, listen, and go. Let’s be intentional about practicing this rhythm regularly throughout the day. Let’s stop and pause for a brief moment. Look around and become attentive to your senses, what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Listen for what God is asking of you in the moment, and go in response to what you are noticing.
Week 2: Our Neighbors
In the second week of our series, we considered how we might encounter God in our neighbors, but we don’t just mean our actual neighbors or even just those with whom we have some relationship. We are including those we don’t know and might only have an opportunity to interact with for a second or two. How might we see every one of these interactions as an opportunity to recognize God’s presence and join God’s work in the world?
This week, let’s see every moment as an opportunity for the the spring of God’s love welling up inside us to overflow into the world. How might we cultivate a space for those around us, even in the smallest ways, to experience the love and joy and peace of Christ?
Week 3: Those on the Margins
In the third week of our series, we considered how we might encounter God in those who typically find themselves on the margins. Christina Hite invited us to widen the circle of our families and encounter God as we practice a ‘radical kinship’ with our neighbors.
This week, let’s respond to what we heard from God in our practice. How are we being invited to take one step toward loving those we encounter who tend to find themselves on the margins? This might be someone in our life, or a group of people for whom we feel a burden. Or maybe you will be on the lookout in your everyday coming and going for someone to see and include in the circle of your family (even if it is just for a moment).
Week 4: Music
In the fourth week of our series, Julian Davis Reid guided our time as we considered how we might see music as an opportunity to encounter God. With 1 Samuel 16:14-23 as a foundation, Julian invited us to notice how “the goodness of God comes to us in music as both a balm and a charge.”
Julian named and articulated something for us that I think we know instinctively but may not have had words to express. As we consider what he helped us to name, that we encounter God in music as both a balm and a charge, let’s first notice what is stirring in us as we listen to music. When we encounter God’s grace in either of these forms as we go about about our days, let’s slow down to recognize God in it. Second, let’s also be aware of God’s invitation. Perhaps in a moment or season we sense God inviting us into music. Do we need to recieve the comfort or rest of God or perhaps we are invited to expereince a charge from God in the lyrics or melody.
Week 5: Story
In the fifth week of our series, Nick Benoit invited us to consider how we encounter God in story. Story invites us to lean in and search for what is true, and it asks that we walk together in community as we seek to make sense of our stories.
This week, let’s make time each day to return to the practice Nick guided, to sit and recieve the love of God. We might return to the same story or notice what new stories God might be bringing to the surface. Of course, for some of us it can be difficult to hold the truth that we are loved. If that is you, we invite you to rest in the practice and simply consider, “What if?” What if God actually loves you this way?
Week 6: Food
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner
The Sacrament of the Present Moment by Jean Pierre De Caussade
Becoming and Ordinary Mystic by Father Albert Haase
Coming Home to Your True Self by Father Albert Haase
With by Skye Jethani
The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
Barking to the Choir by Father Gregory Boyle
The Remarkable Ordinary by Frederick Buechner
Heaven and Earth a video from The Bible Project
Listen to My Life is a resource which helps us recognize and respond to God in the midst of our stories.
If you have a story to share about how you have been encountering God in this season, we would love to hear it!
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