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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Washing Measuring Cups in Ordinary Time: Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year B

By Kimberly Vardeman from Lubbock, TX, USA (Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies)
 [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
My husband gave me a ridiculously expensive set of measuring cups for Christmas. They are gleaming stainless steel and perfectly balanced, gently heavy in my hand. They are wonderful. They are just measuring cups; they do the same job as the plastic set from the discount store that I have used all these years.  Even so, I love them, because they celebrate the ordinary.

The church year is punctuated with marvelous celebrations of the events of the salvation story.  We look forward all year to Christmas and Easter, don't we?  And well we should; they celebrate triumphal moments in the narrative of God's reaching down into our human sphere and blessing us. It is right that we should give them a prominent place in the cycle of our lives.  In between them, though, lies Ordinary Time.

As I stood at my kitchen sink washing those cups this evening, (after baking a sinfully pleasant batch of chocolate chip cookies that our waistlines do not need), I suddenly became aware of the scene around me.  My husband was singing along with the radio, my daughter was dancing, and all three little dogs were attempting to join in the celebration. It brought to mind the fact that, while Jesus was born on  Earth to die for us, in between he taught us how to live.

Ordinary Time is a retreat immersed in the teachings of Jesus and the building of the Kingdom of God on Earth.  Unfortunately, the truth is, I tend to spend Ordinary Time being stressed about ordinary things.  This particular stretch of it is full of work stresses for me.  It's the beginning of the school year with no break in sight for a few months.  I am struggling to keep up with all of the beginning of the school year referrals of at-risk students.  I need to be reminded that my day to day stresses are not really the point. I am here to serve...and to live.

As this span of the church calendar that we call Ordinary Time gradually approaches a close, I feel that I have missed it somehow.  All of this time since Pentecost, that could have been used immersing myself in the teachings of my Lord and learning how to live, has been spent immersed in the meaningless stresses of life.  Somehow, too, I forgot to notice the singing and dancing in my kitchen.

Thank goodness for the annual cycle of the church year.  I have a couple of months of Ordinary Time left for learning, and as for opportunities missed, each season rolls around with its lessons again and again.

Today's Gospel Reading:
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." ~Mark 8: 34-38

Pax Christi Dear Ones,
May your lives be filled with kitchen dancing,
Saints and Scripture Sunday


  1. What a wonderful reflection of the joys in the daily :) Nice to meet you, Michelle...linked up behind you at Jen's and Michelle's blogs.

  2. I just had to read due to the title...washing dishes in ordinary time. So many times, I lose sight. I, too, forget to celebrate the ordinary. I do better with celebrations and crisis. But the ordinary? But I want the ordinary loving celebrations of dancing & singing in the kitchen with well-balanced measuring cups. Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

    Found you today at Jen's. I link there occasionally.

  3. Celebrating the ordinary. I like that. I appreciate the way you find the extraordinary, right in the midst of the everyday. So grateful for the ways you share here.

  4. I love the image of singing and dancing in the kitchen and finding the beauty in the ordinary - from measuring cups to serving. I also visited from Jennifer's link-up. Good to "meet" you.


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