Thursday, May 30, 2013

Being Ordinary

None of us want to be ordinary.

We're all special.  Unique.  Amazing.  Remarkable.   Or so we like to tell ourselves.   Lord, do we like to tell ourselves this.

So much of what passes for Christianity these days...and, frankly, many other faiths...has to do with stoking aspirational hungers that border on pathology.

I've always struggled with this.  Faith, at least as I understand it, is not about striving towards personal or organizational glory.  It doesn't separate us from the real, but guides us to shape reality in ways that are both kinder and more gracious.

But it does not make us shinier.  Or more powerful.   Or drive us to care about standing out.  We're called to find grace and contentment in little things, like the simplicity of a kind word.  

It's one of the reasons I love Ordinary Time, that great stretch of "we're just here now, people" that the Oldline Denominations celebrate for most of the year.    It's radically countercultural, and I'll freely admit that it's one of the reasons that folks pass us over lately.

That's why the stole I'm wearing and the colors at the front of the sanctuary will be different this week.  Back to green, the way it is most of the time.

We aren't Naming it and Claiming it.  We aren't impressing the world with our amazingness, with the shine of our screens and the sprawl of our facilities.  Because honestly?

We aren't all going to shine like flashy sparkles in the water, or stars in the sky.

Folks who tell you different are just trying to sell you something.