Nothing Ordinary About Ordinary Time

In speaking of Ordinary Time, one Web site says, "Rather than meaning common or mundane, this term comes from the word ordinal, which simply means counted time." Another says, "others suggest the etymology of Ordinary Time is related to our word ordinary, which itself has a connotation of time and order, derived from the Latin word ordo." In either case, counting time still sounds ordinary.


Since my son-in-law first ate there, I've been hearing about Fogo De Chao. Fogo is an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steak house. Patrons turn their coasters to the green side and waiters almost instantly surround the table with succulent cuts of sirloin, filet mignon, rib eye, chicken, pork loin and/or lamb chops. You can eat all you can endure. So, the anticipation nearly was unbearable; the expectations ran high; and we were not disappointed. In fact if anything, it was indescribably better than I ever could have imagined.

A Promise Kept

Harold Camping lets out a hearty chuckle when he considers the people who believe the world will end in 2012. "That date has not one stitch of biblical authority," Camping says from the Oakland office where he runs Family Radio, an evangelical station that reaches listeners around the world. "It's like a fairy tale. The real date for the end of times," he says, "is in 2011."

What a Difference a Day Makes

That was Israel: 40 years of journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land, 40 years of God's never-ending supply. Then one day the Israelites were standing on the bank of the river, looking longingly into the promise. The next day they were there-and celebrated. We celebrate what a difference a day makes.

The Cheeseburger Bill

Because of such lawsuits, congressmen passed the "Cheeseburger Bill" through the House of Representatives in 2004 and 2005. It couldn't get past the Senate; but bill or no bill, the principle seems in order. People should take responsibility for their own actions. We cannot keep blaming others for the choices we make. God expects people to take responsibility for their actions. Jesus says so in our text, and Lenten season reminds us it's the case.

The Blind See–Finally

?October 25, 2009 Proper 24 Mark 10:46-52 Healing Bartimaeus closes a chapter in the life of Jesus. The new chapter (Mark 11) begins in a new location, Bethphage; records a unique new experience, the triumphal entry; and opens the final week in the earthly life of Jesus. Clearly, the story of Bartimaeus concludes something very significant.

The Royalty of Service

October 18, 2009 ?Proper 23 Mark 10:35-45 I can hear it today as clearly as I heard it 37 years ago. It was a warm May night in a crowded Idaho church building. Our small graduating class was seated on stage enduring a rambling one-hour-and-forty-minute sermon. An hour into the sermon I heard the voice that only I would recognize.

The Arresting Power of a Circle

Trinity Sunday is the celebration of God's unique unity within Himself. God in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit. Each unique, yet always in harmony. This image may have been captured most poignantly in Andrei Rublev's famous icon, "The Holy Trinity," sometimes called, "The Hospitality of Abraham" (painted approximately 1412 AD near Moscow).

The Value of a Team

Jenny Thompson is the most decorated American woman when it comes to Olympic competition. Her ten Olympic medals in swimming (in the last three Olympics) also mean she has won more medals in swimming than any other Olympic athlete of any nation. Eight of those ten medals were gold. However, she didn't win any of the gold's in individual events; rather, she won them in a team event with three other swimmers.