After the flurry of Christmas and New Year's Day we now enter the season of the church called, "Ordinary time." Ordinary in this sense does not mean "common" or "unimportant." It simply means "counted time." It is the time we count after Pentecost and Epiphany.
All time counts because it is encompassed in the great acts of God's love: his birth and his passion. All time counts because God's love is "poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit." (Romans 5:5)
The message of this ordinary time, moving toward the Easter season celebration, is that "my life is his and his life is mine." (Colossians 3:4) There is nothing ordinary about that. God's birth and passion encompass our lives in such immensity that it requires all the saints to comprehend "what is the breadth and length." (Eph. 3:18)
Rev. James Shackelford
How do we make time count in this season? We can begin by reflecting back upon the Nativity and glancing forward to crucifixion and resurrection. We can let the word of God comfort and command us.
"My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope. God alone is my rock and my salvation, my secure height; I shall not fall. My safety and glory are with God, my strong rock and refuge. Trust in God at all times, my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!" (Psalm 62:6-8)
At all times be at rest and trust in him.
"We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good both for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess. 5;14-18)
At all times and in all circumstances be at rest, trust in God, encourage one another, seek the good for all, and above all else give thanks. You can make this time count by counting your blessings.
Rev. James Shackelford is pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Burlington.