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This morning as I checked to be sure I was reading the correct lectionary selections for this date I noticed the heading: Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time. Not really meaning ordinary in the “ordinary” way, I know that I should be thinking of it as ordinal/counting time. It struck me as the former, however, as it seems that way. Holidays are over, routines have returned and, whether or not we are happy about it, life goes on as it always does. We may have done a year-end inventory – financial or spiritual. We may be grieving large or small losses or celebrating gains as individuals, but on a macro level, the world is still turning.

Jesus is busy in the beginning of Mark’s gospel. (Mark’s writing always reminds me of the saying, “Just the facts, Ma’am” as there is little embellishment in this shortest gospel.) Today in just eleven verses of chapter one (29-39), Jesus finishes his worship in the synagogue, heals Simon’s mother-in-law, has a meal – served by the former invalid, cures “many” including those possessed by demons, spends some time before dawn the next day in the desert praying and then leaves to preach and heal in the nearby villages. That’s quite an agenda!

Some of us are lucky enough to have variety in our work but, seen in another way, sometimes a routine job is more comforting. At least in that way we know what the day will look like. Here’s a nod to the Christmas story that we’ve just left, however. Our God is a God of surprises. If the long-awaited Messiah could be born as a baby of what were reputed to be poor, insignificant parents in the eyes of the world, we ought to be looking deeper than our “ordinary” circumstances for the extraordinary work of God. Life does, in fact, go on and it is ours to stay awake to the little miracles inherent in the everyday.