So the Easter dresses are back in the closet, the ties and ribbons hung up, the fancy shoes put away, and a pair of ratty jeans pulled on. The celebration we had on Sunday, the trumpet fanfares and dancing children, it is in the past and today we’re back to life as normal. I pass a dozen straggling bags of jelly beans left on the clearance shelf at the grocery store – the final mementos of the holiday – as I gather enough eggs and bananas and cereal to get us through the week.
The Tuesday grind feels a little trite in comparison to the glory of Sunday.
Ordinary time, that’s what it’s called on the church calendar. The time between our holidays. The plain space inserted in between the big events. Ordinary time doing ordinary things. Tasks line our schedules, some boring, some hard, some tedious. Get up, sip coffee, make breakfast, go to work, do your job, come home, go to bed, repeat. It’s days like these that make up the bulk of our existence. And many days, if I’m honest, I have a list a mile long of places I’d rather be. The beach. The city. The theme park. The coffee shop. The corner of the couch with a pile of books or a queue of Netflix episodes.
Without thinking about it, I’ve let ordinary time become synonymous with contemptible time.
I’ve got the songs from Sunday playing on my phone while I scramble the eggs, wishing there was a way to keep the celebration from fading into lackluster, wishing the fanfare and excitement of the resurrection would keep going a little bit longer. My sentiments are probably similar to those of the disciples two-thousand years ago. I’m back in the kitchen, they were back in their boats, and we’re all wondering how the resurrection is supposed to intersect with normal life. And then there’s Jesus, right there in the midst of the morning routine, answering this question with a simple invitation. “Come and have breakfast.”
As it turns out, Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t meant to eradicate the ordinary but to embrace it.
So we sit down to breakfast, two plates of eggs and two glasses of orange juice are placed on the table and we pick up our forks. Nothing special, nothing unique. And yet Christ is there and so everything is beautiful. Details for the day’s work are discussed as we gulp down the juice. Teaching, accompanying, nannying, post office runs, another dress rehearsal. Normal life, ordinary days.
We want so badly for our days to feel significant, for our life to be exciting. But Jesus would rather meet us in the humdrum of daily living. Come and eat breakfast. He just went to Hell and back, conquered death and rose from the grave, and then he joins his disciples for breakfast. He uses the normal tasks and finite needs as meeting grounds to commune with His people. He doesn’t wait for our next spiritual retreat, our next Sunday morning gathering, our next holiday on the calendar. He comes now, to your breakfast table, and creates a sacred space out of the mundane moment.
It’s easy to despise it, this ordinary time. I get it. The boiling frustration at that obnoxious iPhone ringtone that forces you out of bed each morning. The sheer exhaustion you feel as you yank on your pants and throw on some make-up. The weariness you bear as you shuffle to your car and head out to another day of work. The daily grind that feels more like a daily beating. It’s understandable that you want something else. But it is here, this very moment, dreadful or not, that Christ has come to. His presence, not your circumstances, is what will transform your ordinary time into something extraordinary.
The eggs have been scraped out of the skillet and it sits clean to dry in the stand. The victory songs from Sunday continue to play, the beauty of the Easter message encompasses this ordinary Tuesday morning. Because he rose again Christ is now here with us in every single moment of our normal, simple life. No matter how mundane, no matter how boring, no matter how tedious, Christ is here. The ordinary has become sacred.
I’ve compiled a dozen or so of my favorite Easter songs right here. You might also want them to play while you scramble your eggs.