Anything But Ordinary Time

Bright Sun in open sky
Bright white sun casting orange glow over sky and landscape below. Image licensed from Envato Elements.

Any time we are seeking to live as God's people is anything but ordinary.


We are now in the season of Pentecost, the season of the Spirit. Many Christians believe the Pentecost is just one day and that the season that follows is Ordinary Time. I think Ordinary Time is inaccurate in the liturgical calendar. Any time we are seeking to live as God’s people is anything but ordinary.

Yes, there are months between Pentecost and Advent and life can certainly feel very ordinary in these months. However, if we think of it as just one day following the next, just ordinary days coming one after another, what might we miss? Will we forget to seek out the extraordinary movements of the Spirit?

This evening, after several hours of writing, I went for a walk on the wooded trail behind the campground at Frontenac State Park. No one else was walking the trail. I was intent on practicing some plant identification I’ve recently learned and not looking ahead.

Then I heard a noise and looked up to see a deer just staring back at me. We stood there for several minutes before something else startled the deer and it went leaping off into the woods. Just after that a pair of bluebirds flew to a branch a few feet away. Then there was a baby rabbit hiding just off the trail.

It was an amazingly beautiful moment. There was a sacredness that I might have missed if I hadn’t been thinking about where and how God is present in the world. The silence of the dusk that really wasn’t silent at all but filled with birdsong and the sounds of wind and animals in the woods drew me in. And for a brief moment I was part of the woods; I belonged there as surely as the deer.

Some would say that this was an ordinary moment. Deer come out at dusk. The woods are alive in the late spring. Anyone could have had such an encounter. Maybe so. However, for me it wasn’t ordinary. It was a moment of recognizing the presence of the Sacred in the plants, the animals, the birds, and the deer who held my gaze for several minutes.

I continued on my walk with a deep sense of peace. This is the gift of Pentecost. It’s a gift that continues through ordinary days making them extraordinary. My hope and prayer is that we all stay alert and attentive to the movements of the Spirit. We can meet God in any moment and that moment will then become extraordinary.

May the Spirit of Pentecost make these coming days anything but ordinary for all of us.


About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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4 thoughts on “Anything But Ordinary Time”

  1. I love your comment Sandy. It reminded me of a song I learned eons ago about the conformity of nonconformity.
    Nancy and I had an an extraordinary time pulling weeds in one of many of her wonderful gardens. I LOVE to weed what is for some an ordinary, mundane job. I find it to be extraordinarily relaxing.


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