This is my daughter, the beloved, my favour rests on you.
And with that wonderfully scary affirmation Ordinary Time begins.
I love Ordinary Time. There is a comfort in the rhythm, the same-ness; time to go deeper, to bed down, once more in routine; seeing God in the everyday, a time to hone our Sacramental Imagination.
Ordinary Time is where we live who we are, a time to live baptismally. This week I came across the following poem (with my slight adaptation!) which I loved immediately. I loved the way it challenged me to move out of Christmas, not leaving it behind but taking it with me.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers and sisters,
To make music in the heart.
You are my daughter, my beloved, on whom my favour rests.
How can I not work for the Kingdom knowing that? How can my baptism be in the past, something that was done to me when I was a baby?
When the Godparents have returned home,
When the white robe has been cleaned and put away
When the candle is back in its box,
The work of baptism begins:
It is said that Martin Luther, every morning on waking said ‘I am baptised’. When I imagine this he says it incredulously for when we begin to recognise what it means to be baptised it is awe filled. We have been named for Christ, invited to to work for Him in bringing about the Kingdom because
Rebekah, you are mine, whom I love beyond measure and my favour* rests on you.
Happy Ordinary Time everyone.
Poem: Dr. Howard Thurman was an influential author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader. He was Dean of Theology and the chapels at Howard University and Boston University for more than two decades, wrote 20 books, and in 1944 helped found the first racially integrated, multicultural church in the United States.
*Some translations read ‘well pleased’ for favour. I prefer favour to ‘well pleased’, if God is well pleased, God can also be not well pleased. God’s pleasure is somehow to do with me. Whereas God’s favour is freely given, to all and that includes me regardless of what I do.
Picture by HeQi