Blessed are you… Matthew 5:11a NRSV
The seasons of the church year follow the events of the life of Jesus. During the season of Advent, we await his birth as well as his return at the Second Coming. During the short Twelve Days of Christmas, we celebrate his birth and also hear stories from his childhood. On the Sundays in Lent, we walk with him toward Jerusalem. Our ser-vices during Holy Week parallel the days of Jesus’ last week. On Easter Sunday, as well as the season of Easter which follows, we celebrate his resurrection. Festival days often mark milestones in Jesus’ life: his Naming, his Presentation in the Temple, his Epiphany to the nations, his Transfiguration on the mountain, his Ascension to heaven, his promised gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
The rest of the year, notably the Time After Epiphany and the Time After Pentecost, is sometimes called “Ordinary Time.” “Ordinary” signifies “ordered” or “numbered” rather than common place or insignificant. The Sundays of Ordinary Time are also known as the “Green Sundays,” because the paraments, banners, and other vestments are green. The Time After Epiphany varies from year to year (depending on the date of Easter) from three to eight Sundays. The Time After Pentecost lasts about six months.
On these “Green Sundays,” our gospel readings often focus on Jesus’ teachings, healings, miracles, and other forms of ministry. For example, on the first three Sundays in February, we'll hear Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew’s gospel. During the summer and fall months, our gospel readings come from Matthew 9 to 25.
As we hear these stories about Jesus on the “Green Sundays,” we’ll come to learn that they are anything but ordinary.
Pastor Tom Pairan
P.S. As this issue of The Lantern goes to press, I am preparing to attend the 2020 Ohio Rostered Ministers Gathering at Nationwide Conference Center in Lewis Center. This annual event brings together pastors and deacons from the three Ohio synods—Northwestern, Northeastern and Southern.
The theme of this year’s event is “Practical Evangelism.” Presenters include the Reverend Harold “Jake’ Jacobson, Assistant to the Bishop of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod and the Reverend Dr. Water F. Taylor, Jr., Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, where he taught students, including Pastor Anne and me, from 1981-2016.
Thank you to Calvary Lutheran for the opportunity to attend this event.