(October 14 - November 25, 2018)
Much of our life is spent in ordinary ways: walking the family dog, getting children to school, attending meetings, observing deadlines, feeding families, and attending to daily routines. Commonplace activities that compose the raw material of our days alternatively provide the comfort of stability as well as the boredom of over familiarity. This precisely is the challenge the church faces during the season of the Christian year known as Ordinary Time.
The longest season of the Christian calendar, Ordinary Time spans nearly half the year, arriving on the heels of Pentecost and concluding just prior to Advent. With none of the drama or importance of the “high, holy days” of the Easter or Christmas cycles, Ordinary Time risks being lost in the mundane, however it possesses its own deep significance in the celebration of the church year.
Ordinary Time provides opportunity to experience God in the commonplace events of our lives. It is the ideal time to deepen faith by practicing the presence of God in every ordinary moment of the day, fostering growth in the lives of Christian disciples.
(December 2-30, 2018)
Even people who are not professing Christians think they are familiar with the story of the Nativity. Every Christmas displays of Jesus resting in a manger populate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air. Yet despite the abundance of these Christian references in popular culture, how many of us have examined the hard edges of this biblical story?
Hidden Christmas will take us on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the Nativity. By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible’s account of Jesus’s birth, we will seek to understand the redeeming power of God’s grace in a meaningful and deeper way.