By Revd Caroline Brown, Curate of St John’s Church, Yeadon

I WONDER if you recall a song called ‘It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green’, sung by ‘Kermit the Frog’ on the television series Sesame Street and the Muppet Show.

It was originally published in 1970, but if, like me, you weren’t around then, you may have heard one of its numerous cover recordings; you may even fancy looking it up on the internet. Kermit, in a sorrowful tone, expresses his feelings about not only being the colour green, but also about the ordinariness of this colour. However, he soon comes to realise and accept that being green is ‘cool and friendly-like’ and his sorrow turns into joy.

If you pop into your parish church, you will see a display of green on the Lord’s Table, the lectern and even on the clergy! Green signifies, in the Church calendar, that we are in ‘ordinary time’. This is a period which lasts until November, when there are no special times such as Christmas or Easter. The ordinariness of ‘ordinary time’ does not have connotations of unimportance or boredom, but has associations with growth and hope; I wonder what Kermit would have thought if he knew that green is a symbol of growth and hope.

This year, ‘ordinary time’ points to the Gospel of Mark, which points us to the person, work and teachings of Jesus. A key verse in this Gospel is ‘…the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve. The Son of Man came to give his life to save many people’ (Mark 10:45). ‘Ordinary time’ becomes extraordinary when we realise, and receive, this good news and the hope that is transformational.

At St John’s Church, ‘ordinary time’ will see our time of growth express a vision of ‘Regathering, Rebuilding, Restarting and Renewing’ as we come further out of lockdown; it will be a key time in the life of the church.

However, this is a key time for all of us as we consider what we should, for example, be rebuilding or restarting. The nurturing of relationships will, no doubt, be a priority, within and outside our family spheres. Within this potentially extraordinary time, let’s also consider getting to know the One who ‘came to give his life to save many people’; we may find ourselves joining in with Kermit to sing, albeit with a different emphasis, how green is ‘cool and friendly-like’.