Trinity Sunday: Blessing of the ordinary

June 14, 2011

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

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.


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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