An Ordinary Christmas

How many Christmas concerts have you been to this season? I am not talking about the professional concerts. I am talking about the ones you attend to see your child or children sing, play an instrument, or dance. For you, it might be a niece, nephew, neighbor or grandchild.

Joy and innocence are two words that always come to mind when I attend one of these concerts. The children may be a little nervous, but they almost always have the biggest smiles on their faces. It is truly wonderful to see their joy.

Last week I started reading Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World by Michael Horton. Speaking of kids, Horton sets the framework of the book by asking:

“Ordinary” has to be one of the loneliest words in our vocabulary today. Who wants a bumper sticker that announces to the neighborhood, “My child is an ordinary student at Bubbling Brook Elementary”? Who wants to be that ordinary person who lives in an ordinary town, is a member of an ordinary church, and has ordinary friends and works an ordinary job? (pp 11-12)

Ordinary does not seem to matter anymore. There is such pressure today that makes you feel as though, if you are not making millions, leading a Fortune 500 company, going around the world to live in missions, serving 300 days a year, then you are not doing enough. We have to do something “big”. We have to do something that will “change the world.”

We cannot be “ordinary.” Can we? Read these next two quotes a couple of times.

Changing the world can be a way of actually avoiding the opportunities we have every day, right where God has placed us, to glorify and enjoy him and to enrich the lives of others. (pp 15-16)

And this one…

Sometimes, chasing your dreams can be “easier” than just being who we are, where God has placed you, with the gifts he has given to you. (p 16)

I was going to share this verse last week, but it did not make it in the blog. It is very fitting here. Paul writes:

11 I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. 12 I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor. 13 I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. (Philippians 4)

If we only find contentment in big things or big ideas, or if we only find contentment in special events and times, we are going to miss a lot of life. What if the ordinary times in life are just as meaningful as the most special of times? What if the ordinary things or ideas are just as important as the big things and big ideas?

We will miss too much of life if we keep skipping over the “ordinary”. We will miss too many wonderful opportunities with those we love. We will miss God at work in our lives.

May you have a wonderful and a merry Christmas, and may you find joy and contentment as you celebrate an “ordinary Christmas” and an “ordinary life” this year.

Blessings,

Pastor Matt

(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)

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