The fact that God decided to walk our history in our shoes means that God’s life is available in all alleyways, everywhere, every minute. This means that every child whose knee has been scraped, and has been comforted, is in God’s territory. Every joy of friendship, and even rejection, has been experienced by the God-man. Every pubescent crush is understood. Every badly crafted project in our dad’s workshop or mom’s flour bin has also been in Mary’s kitchen or hanging on her wall. When Christians worship this God, they know that they worship someone who experienced everything that they are experiencing – every joy, every terror, and even the humdrum in between.
Because of this, no day can be a “time out” from the supernatural. Every day is now holy. And this is the riot of Ordinary Time, which has no holy-days but is itself one long holyday-holiday. And so, the church calendar is attempting to do precisely the opposite of carving up life into sacred and secular, a false division if there ever was one. The Church calendar integrates all things into the life of God who was also human, and so can testify to the goodness of jam and the horror of loneliness. This calendar, far from an attempt to lift people out of ordinary life, was an attempt to root them in the One who makes all things extraordinary. It’s no wonder that the chosen color for this season is green – that of new life, vibrant in its small seed-like ways, growing imperceptibly but persistently.
And this is why, when Christians have been vigilantes against things that prioritize the supernatural over the natural, the church has flourished for all classes. Even the good old stodgy Reformation forefathers (with their frilly collars) championed ordinary life as God’s sphere, against those who held it as lower on spiritual scale. Or again, there were Victorian priests like M. F. Sadler who intuited the dangers of church elitism and railed against “mischievous” theology cut-off from ordinary life. Or what of George MacDonald, Scottish pastor and fantasy writer, who says that Jesus’ miracles only seem like miracles because we take everyday life for granted. “How many more have the marvel of vision than those blind whom the Lord has healed.” He calls God the “divine alchemist,” turning every meal into a eucharist, not just the bread and wine on the high altar.