Lots of us, as children, had dreams of growing up to be famous, like an actor, or musician, or sports star. Maybe a few of us made it, but most of us didn’t. Part of growing up, in my experience, has been to come face to face with the fact that I’m pretty ordinary. Being ordinary is NOT a bad thing… but this reality does remind us that we are not the center of the world.
Often we make the wrong assumption about the world. We think because we are ‘ordinary’, and our lives are just one small part of a much larger world, we have no part to play in God’s great unfolding drama of creation. We see how God lifts up the ordinary and infuses it with miracle and Spirit. Jesus was a poor baby born in a feeding trough, Mary was a common teenager, Bethlehem was a minor city in a defeated and occupied nation. Further, if we remember the Christmas story, the first people to learn of the birth of Jesus were common shepherds, and they were working when the angel shared the Good News:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. (Luke 2:8-10)
At Christmas we remember that even in the midst of our ordinary lives, God promises to show up and infuse them with miracle and Spirit.