Every morning I wake up at 5 am. I make my way to the kitchen and put a kettle of water on to boil to make my morning cup of coffee. Most days, I make two. I read while the water boils, and then I’m off to work until my kids wake up. The rest of the day is filled with mealtimes, work, play, and various other activities that might be considered mundane or ordinary. Certainly not Instagram-worthy.
Sometimes the ordinary can feel unimpressive or perhaps not good enough. Good enough for what, I’m not sure. Occasionally, I will meet someone who has had some sort of mountaintop spiritual experience. Often the hope is that this mountaintop will be the new normal. But, as you likely know, we all come down from that mountain eventually and find ourselves again waking up to the ordinary. Yet, the ordinary is not bad. In fact, small acts are what compose our life, and that life then tells our story.
The life of the church is not dissimilar. If you attend a church that follows the liturgical calendar, a portion of the year is spent following the life of Christ (Advent to Easter), while the remainder is spent in what is often referred to as Ordinary Time. This is the period of the year that tells the story of the church, beginning in Pentecost and concluding before the beginning of Advent.
Recently, I was at a songwriter retreat where one of the retreat leaders reminded us that God is present in our actual lives, not just the lives we think we ought to have. Certainly, God is present in feasts, festivals, and celebrations. Still, he is just as present in the time spent changing old guitar strings as he is during that magic moment when we all sing the final chorus acapella together and feel the chill run down our spine.
God cares about our real life where we actually are. He is present in the everyday. Whether we feel it or not, he is present in the ordinary.
Every day when I wake up to make that coffee, I am reminded that Christ is present in ordinary acts and in ordinary means. He has again brought me safely through the night and given me my daily bread (or grounds, as it were).
I drink coffee because I enjoy it. I am grateful that it exists. It’s a simple but important part of my day. Maybe it’s not as surprising or interesting as Jesus grilling fish on the beach post-resurrection (John 21:1-17), but it is just as simple, just as practical, and just as necessary. So, as the lily wilts and the fanfare of Easter fades, know that God is still with you in all that life brings.
Heavenly Father, grant that we may know your presence in the ordinary and the exceptional. As we enjoy something as simple as a coffee or meal, may it make us more aware of your good gifts, pointing us evermore to the greatest gift of your Son with whom we have been buried and made alive, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.