Those of us who spend a major portion of life in church keep track of time by the sequence of the liturgical or church year as well as by the calendar year. The calendar year begins on January 1, the church year begins with Advent at the end of November or the beginning of December. One is stable, the other moves. As I write this my calendar says mid-February, and in Chicago that means cloudy days, melting snow already turned black, and the prospect of at least another month of winter. The liturgical calendar tells me it is Lent (a term which, if memory serves, has something to do with an old English word for spring).
This year Lent has arrived about as early as it can. That means not much of Ordinary Time fell between the frenzy of celebrating Christmas and the intensity of marking our Lord’s journey to the cross. Not much time for the preacher to catch up on some reading, even enjoy a novel or two.