Further Reflections on World Communion Sunday

    This past Sunday following worship, I have to admit that I was in a bit of a funk.  The day went well by my standards.  Worship was filled with story, song and Spirit.  Yet, I had this inadequate feeling.  All afternoon I felt like something was missing.  Monday morning I described my feeling to Karen as one of “losing traction.” 

    Today I realized what was going on.  Following our World Communion Sunday worship, last Sunday was just an ordinary Sunday.  It felt like being back to normal wasn’t enough. I had a sense that we weren’t living up to the week before. 

    This is part and parcel of the Christian walk.  We most often find ourselves in moments of ordinary time.  Time that for lack of a better description, is “normal,”  and normal just isn’t good enough.  We have been culturally conditioned to expect every day and every thing to exceed the last.  New and improved are marketing words that have taken hold in our psyche and spirit in such a way that we don’t want our current, old or standard way.

    World Communion Sunday is a day when we climb up the mountain and experience a sample of what the Kingdom shall be like.  I don’t know about you, but the view from the top of the mountain is pretty sweet.  Brothers and sisters of varied cultures and traditions sharing in worship is how I envision the heavenly kingdom to be. mountain-top-cross3

    While it is good for us to sample this reality, it isn’t where we are called to live at this time.  This past Sunday we climbed down the mountain back into the valley.  The valley is the place where we once again return to the ordinary way of life.  Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that I felt like I fell off the mountain top.  The plunge was very obvious to me.

    Yet as those who are called to live in the valley, it is critical that we recognize that in the valley, God is still present and we are still called to live as those who are on the mountain top.  Even though we had an “ordinary” worship service, we need to realize that with Christ in our lives, nothing is ordinary.  Every moment is extraordinary because our God is doing a new thing.  I almost lost sight of the wonders God was doing in our worship this Sunday because it wasn’t quite as flashy and mountain toppy as the week before.  This past Sunday we participated in the baptism of  Grady Gilbert.  This is not an ordinary activity.  Today I prayed with and shared the story of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” with our preschool during chapel time, it wasn’t an ordinary activity.

    In our thrill seeking, instant gratification, big show culture, we need to find ways to recognize that God is unfolding wonders each day.  The ways that these wonders enter our lives aren’t always as flashy and obvious as our World Communion Sunday worship.  Nonetheless, we experience everyday moments of God’s radical love and grace in our “ordinary” lives.  I pray that we can have Godly eyes to see all of this and more.

  • How do you recognize the wonders of God in your “ordinary” life?
  • What are some things in your life that you have witnessed that have shown you the wonder of the ordinary?



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3 thoughts on “Further Reflections on World Communion Sunday

  1. I had a moment this “ordinary” Sunday that was was as uplifing as the choir from next door was on World Communion Sunday:

    Chuck Munds voice lifted to the Lord, accompanied beautifully by our choir, AND NO ONE APPLAUDED, was one of the most meaningful moments I have had in a long time. Just to soak in that glorious voice and the words he sang, and to have silence (except for my quiet Amen) was such a relief from the “performance” aspect that so many of our anthems – quite unintentionally – have.

    Applause is a wonderful and positive way of saying “well done”, but I don’t think that anyone felt the need for feedback in that moment = just reverence.


  2. “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.” Mary Jean Iron

    Personally, I love “ordinary time” in my life. Sometimes I remember a day decades ago when I was at work and was thinking, “This is the most boring day. I just wish something different would happen.” A couple hours later a girl across the hall ran into the office and said, “President Kennedy was shot in Dallas.” Boring is better.

  3. Really liked this post for a lot of reasons.

    1) Ann: AMEN for the silence! I was going to comment that the great thing about worship is that one person’s “ordinary” experience can be an extraordinary experience for the person sitting right next to you. That anthem brought tears to my eyes for a variety of reasons – lots of memories both singing and listening to that song over the years. I entered worship with a hardened heart and lousy attitude. That song began a shift toward a softening heart and better attitude 🙂 Just an ordinary day…. 🙂

    2) I always was frustrated by the “ordinary time” classification in the church calendar, esp. post-Advent. But, with this approach – I guess that is the reminder that we ARE usually in the ordinary valley – Advent/Lent/Pentecost are the mountain tops in the year to sustain us while we dwell in the valley.

    3) The mountain top is great – and its even nicer when we get to meander back down slowly. What is hard is when it’s not just a fall off the mountain, but the feeling of the mountain being pulled out from under your feet entirely. We flail in the air and land with a hard thump…back in the valley. It makes it harder to recognize ordinary wonders. But, that’s where the work of faith comes in – believing that each day in the valley builds toward another mountain top.

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