The church has now entered the long season of ‘ordinary time’ with its liturgical colour of green. This season will see us through the summer and well into the autumn. After the wonder of Christmas, the solemnity of Lent, the sadness of Good Friday, the joy of Easter, and the flames of Pentecost, it’s now, just... well ordinary! It does seem a little strange to have a dedicated period of ordinariness in the church calendar, a kind of default season with no particular theme. A kind of ‘space’ gap.
Life can be like this too, with its highs and lows, but mostly with things just ticking along. For many living through difficult times, the ‘ordinary’ can be yearned for. Ordinary can be restorative and balancing. It can open up time for contemplation, and if you are a person of faith give space to see God in the small, the everyday of our lives, in the beauty of the colours of summer and autumn...
Here’s to the ordinary.
A Summer Smile...
With apologies to those who have heard this joke before or have recently lost a duck...
A woman takes her duck to the vet, which upon examination the vet sadly declares to be dead. Outraged, the woman tells the vet he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and challenges him to prove that her duck is, indeed, dead. The vet sighs but then opens the door of the surgery and ushers in a black Labrador who puts his paws on the table and sniffs the duck from head to toe. The Labrador looks dolefully at the vet and slowly shakes its head and leaves the surgery. The vet then brings in a large tabby cat, which he places on the table beside the duck. The cat also sniffs the duck from head to toe and also looks up to the vet and shakes its head. The vet removes the cat and then says to the woman, “There you are, I told you it was dead”. He taps a few keys on his computer and says, “That will be £150 please”. The woman, clearly shocked, says “£150 to tell me that my duck is dead, that’s outrageous”. “Well” said the vet, “if you’d taken my word for it, it would have only been £20 but with the lab test and the cat scan it’s £150”!!
Summer Smiles and Blessings to you,
I love chocolate! So describing the mystery of the Trinity (the three aspects of God) as like plain, white and milk chocolate, all being chocolate (God) but all still individual in appearance and taste, works really well for me, but apparently using this analogy might be heretical! But somehow I don’t think God minds, I am sure God smiles at our human attempts to describe the indescribable nature of God!
Traditionally the Trinity is described as ‘God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit’. I like how the Inclusive Language Lord’s Prayer from New Zealand speaks to the wider nature of God and our relationship response to it:
Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver
Source of all that is and all that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God who is in heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by people of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.
May it be so. Amen.
Revd Nikki Mann
Nikki is the Priest in Charge of the Raddesley Benefice (which consists of 6 churches) in Cambridgeshire