Trinity Sunday: Blessing of the ordinary

Each year when Trinity Sunday rolls around, ushering us into the season of the year known as Ordinary Time, my memory travels back to a Trinity Sunday many years ago. It was my last Sunday living in Atlanta, where I had gone to seminary and was now finishing a bonus year spent working on my first book and lingering with the seminary community. In a few days I would move back to Florida to take my first pastoral appointment.

On that final, bittersweet Atlanta Sunday, I went with my boyfriend to Oakhurst Baptist Church, where one of the pastors preached a powerful sermon about entering into the rhythms of Ordinary Time. At the close of the sermon, she invited us into a ritual of laying on of hands as a way of seeking a blessing as we crossed into the new season. Several teams of church members, three in each team, moved to various places in the church. Folks who wished could go to one of the teams, asking them to pray for something in particular or simply to offer a blessing.

Standing at the threshold not only of  a new season but also of a dramatic life change as I prepared to move from Atlanta, where I had a close and wonderfully engaging community, to Orlando, where I knew virtually no one, I thought I could use a blessing. Approaching one of the teams that included a seminary friend of mine, I quietly told them about my upcoming move. And the team—a trinity of women, as it happened—laid their hands and their words on me in a sacramental gesture of blessing.

It would take a long time for me to find and reestablish some ordinary rhythms in my life. But on that Trinity Sunday, graced by the women who offered a blessing for me and for my ministry that lay ahead, I found sustenance that helped me cross the threshold into the new season and into the new life that waited for me.

As we move from the times and seasons that have been so marked by a sense of story and meaning—Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost—into the long season of year that bids us celebrate the commonplace and to seek the God who dwells within the daily, what sort of blessing might you need? What words or gestures of sacrament and grace do you need to sustain you as you enter into this part of the year? How do you look for the presence of the God who lingers amid the ordinary and seemingly mundane? What rhythms of living do you yearn for as you stretch into the season that awaits you?

Originally posted at The Painted Prayerbook.

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Ordinary Time

Is there ever such a thing as ordinary for a Christian? Jesus lived an extraordinary life and we are called to live out of the ordinary. Commonplace perhaps but not ordinary.

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