Ordinary Rest

Amy Clemens

Read: Isaiah 30:8-18

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling. (v. 15)

Ordinary Time represents more than half the church calendar, yet there is no mention of it on most of the mainline denominational websites. For most of us, it simply doesn’t exist.

In a profound way, that reminds me of “ordinary time” in the United States. Time for family, faith, relationships, reading, and rest. There’s all that green on the calendar, yet few metaphorically lie down to enjoy the lush grass, puffy clouds, or starry night sky it offers.

The remaining liturgical seasons—primarily Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter— occupy plenty of our time. Preparing for Christmas and Easter keep church and culture busy, and plenty of people dread those seasons’ arrival.

What of real, old-fashioned, Sabbath-style rest; ordinary time, where no one is gearing up for (or recuperating from) the calendar? Market research shows more than half of today’s vacationers go away with the intent of spending time on their digital devices, never attempting to disconnect fully from the other worlds they belong to. What about unadulterated rest, where I disconnect; yes, lie down and sleep perhaps, but mostly listen? There is another world we Christians belong to, and we are guilty of not listening for the ping or buzz of connection from that world as we do from our worldly devices —Amy Clemens

As you pray, be willing to return and rest; to listen for the voice of our only true source of life.