In the ordinary
I know October is still here but just the other day we spoke of stringing up Christmas lights! No, I’m not ready to rush one holiday before another and I find it odd to see Christmas trees in stores already. However when the weather gets nice about mid-November we will probably hang the exterior lights though they won’t go live until Thanksgiving night… but we will be ready!
Christmas is on my mind this morning since I opened the Word to Luke 2- the most often read version of the Christmas story. While there a certain part of the angel’s announcement to the shepherds caught my attention-
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”- Luke 2:12
No name in lights directing everyone to Jesus… no fireworks displays drawing everyone’s attention to the stable… the new star wasn’t even mentioned to them… just a newborn baby wrapped in pieces of material lying in a manger. Ok, so the manger part probably didn’t happen often yet notice how ‘everyday’ the sign was… how ordinary.
Looking back, I can remember some awesome moments in my life when God showed his love for me in major events- meeting my husband, the birth of each of our children, my salvation experience, and his protection during a disaster. Believe me, I have thanked and praised God for each of those moments. But you know what? Most of the signs I find that God is with me and that God loves me are in the small things… in the ordinary… watching a sunrise or sunset, seeing the beauty of a fall countryside, receiving an encouraging word from a friend (or stranger) at just the moment I needed it most, opening the Bible to find a verse that spoke right to my heart, finding an opportunity to show love and care to a student, seeing the smiling & attentive faces of more than a dozen youth last night who were excited to be at church talking about God and singing His praise.
I wonder how often we as Christians want to keep our focus on the sky in hopes of seeing a great ‘heavenly host’ of angels appear and begin singing and overlook the simple, ordinary ways God reveals his love to us… like in a cloth-wrapped baby.
Lord, as I go about my day, may I be more aware of the many small ways you are there showing me your loving care. May I be your instrument today in letting others feel your love. I feel so showered by your love especially when I stop to ponder not just the big but the many, many small ways you reach out to me in the ordinary. Thank you, Lord. Amen!