These are No Ordinary Times; They are Holy Days

Pentecost at Living Table
Living Table sanctuary is decorated with fabrics and firey colors for Pentecost. Communion, cut flowers, and cupcakes are on the table. Image is used with permission.

Pentecost is a season in which we can pay attention to the movement of the Spirit.


For many people, Pentecost is one day a year, following which the season of “Ordinary Time” begins. Ordinary Time lasts until Advent and the liturgical color is green. However, I believe that Pentecost is a season which lasts until Advent. The Spirit makes these many weeks anything but “ordinary.”

As you know, the Day of Pentecost coincided with Memorial Day weekend this year which we all think of as the unofficial start to summer. The days are hot enough to remind us of those tongues of fire from Acts 2 for sure.

The weather is warm. Flowers are in bloom. Cottonwood floats through the air. What is ordinary about these days? Not much if you look at life from the spiritual side of things. There is beauty. There is joy. There are relationships. There is stress. There is anxiety. There is challenge. Life in the Spirit is not without struggle.

However, it is often in the midst of uncertainty and hardship that we most appreciate the beauty of the created world. When anxiety hits, we are often more grateful for supportive friends, family, coworkers, and/or mental health professionals.

Sometimes when life presents its worst moments, we are more apt to think about God’s presence in our lives. Where is the Spirit in all of the ick? Where is God in the pain? Where is God in the grief? Then little by little we find ourselves able to breathe a little more deeply, and, perhaps, realize that God has been present through it all.

Whether this is a time of ease or a time of challenge, this is not ordinary. Every time we share or notice Love, beauty, mercy, grace, gratitude and the like, our days become extraordinary.

May the blessings of the unpredictable, often trouble-stirring movement of Spirit transform your every moment from ordinary to extraordinary.

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 “These are No Ordinary Times; They are Holy Days”

  1. Don’t know why this popped into my head….

    Several decades ago I spent 50 hours in small bomb shelter with 2 dozen other people, few supplies, and a 1 hour candle.

    When we came out and my eyes adjusted, everything looked “extraordinary”.

    Another random thought….

    I wonder if I could recreate that “awe” when I look at an “ordinary” scene with “ordinary” people.

    That’s probably the agape we are called to.

    • Sandy, I can only imagine the “extraordinary” after 50 hours in a bomb shelter! And you are onto something with your thoughts on agape. I apologize for my delayed response; I am just now catching up after the yard sale week.

  2. One joy of being an ordained “community minister” means y’all turned me loose in the world and I get to do things like be “pulpit supply” at other churches. That’s where I was for Pentecost Sunday. And with Pastor Rachael’s permission, I shared some of the words she wrote here last week, about the Spirit:
    “She is power. She is change. She is joy unimaginable. She is strength. She is unpredictable. She is creative. She is world-changing. She is life-changing. She is Trouble.
    ” Wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is bound to be disruption and chaos. And if we are really paying attention, then there will be radical change. Spirit is, among other things, a trouble-maker. When Spirit shows up, she stirs us up and insists on creating something new – always.”

    These words seemed to strike a deep moment of recognition in the people in those particular pews. And, give a sense of hope, that there can be chaos around us, but what if it’s not the world unravelling, but the Spirit up to her usual creative tricks?

    This gives me hope.

    • Doug, thank you for your thoughtful words. I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to respond; I’m catching up after the yard sale week that was.


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