Comment by Harborough churches: The extra ordinary in the ordinary

Every week the Harborough churches write a column for the Harborough Mail. This week it is the turn of Revd Alison Iliffe, team vicar in the Harborough Anglican Team

Revd Alison Iliffe.
Revd Alison Iliffe.

Viewpoint by Revd Alison Iliffe

In the seasons of the church we are entering a couple of weeks of what is called ‘Ordinary Time’. It’s not called ordinary in the sense of not expecting anything extra ordinary to happen, but ordinary because we are between two of the great seasons of the church (Christmas and Easter). But when does the ordinary become ‘extra’ ordinary?

Some people set out to do something extra ordinary, to break a world record or be the first to do something, but I think most of us live day to day in the ordinary. That doesn’t mean that we don’t sometimes happen to do something extra ordinary which might inspire others.

The times we are living in can certainly not be labelled ‘ordinary’ and yet our days may perhaps feel like that. Maybe it is in the choices we make that something ordinary becomes extra ordinary? When Captain Sir Tom Moore acted on his idea to raise some money for those who had helped him in the NHS, I don’t suppose he thought he was doing something extra ordinary, yet his act touched the hearts of many and inspired others to find their own way of helping.

When Rosa Parks boarded the bus home from what was probably an ordinary day’s work, and politely refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, she probably had no idea that her choice would have such an influence on the American civil rights movement which would result in the change to the law of her land.

These are just two examples of how a simple choice saw something ordinary become extra ordinary and would impact on so many, inspiring others to become extra ordinary too. Most people aren’t as well known as Sir Tom or Rosa Parks, and yet we all know people who have, whether they know it or not, through their choices inspired us in our lives.

In this last year many people locally have acted in extra ordinary ways as communities have come together to support and help one another. They have reminded us that there is life and hope in each new day whatever season we are going through.

As you might expect, the biggest inspiration in my own life is Jesus, who, as we move between the church seasons of Christmas and Easter, takes the ordinariness of birth in a manger and makes it extra ordinary. In what we might see as the ordinariness of our lives, who has inspired each of us? And who have we inspired along the way as our ordinary choices have become something extra ordinary to others?

By Revd Alison Iliffe, Team Vicar in the Harborough Anglican Team with responsibility for the Parish of the Transfiguration, Little Bowden, St Hugh, Northampton Road and St Nicholas, Little Bowden.