Perhaps you’ve heard something like this before, but it is one that is well worth repeating. God loves to work through regular ordinary people. In fact, ordinary people seem to be the most often singled out by God for the most extra-ordinary purposes.
Take Abraham, a migrant traveler, a childless man in later years of life, who is called by God to birth a nation that would one day produce the savior of all mankind. Consider David, a young teenager who tended sheep and wasn’t even considered as a possibility when God’s prophet came to anoint a new king. But this young man would not only slay giants, he would become one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history and be called a “man after God’s own heart.”
How about Peter? A working man, a fisherman with little education, a short temper, and always putting his foot in his mouth, ends up as a primary leader in God’s new movement on earth called the “church”.
Hopefully you’re getting the picture here? God specializes in ordinary people.
In I Corinthians we are told part of the reason why: God deliberately chooses things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chooses those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
If God’s pattern involved the use of the wise, the talented and the powerful, the truth is most of us would be left out. But consider even the well-educated, highly talented Saul of Tarsus’ great credentials and superior pedigree. God decided that to make use of one so gifted, He would first have to break him, humble him, and teach him the most important lesson of all. That lesson: it’s all about God and not about Paul.
And that’s what I love so much about the saga of Christ’s advent and birth. All the major players are so very ordinary. Who would you pick for Jesus’ earthly father? How about Joseph, a carpenter from a small rural village? And where to send the greatest birth announcement in all of history?
Well, God had it air mailed by way of angels to shepherds outside of Bethlehem. You won’t find a more lowly, under the social radar group than shepherds. And then there’s Mary, she’s young, most likely a young teenager. She possesses no previous mothering experience; she has received no formal training or schooling; her resume and list of credentials would be noticeably empty. That is, she had none. All except for one critical factor, she was willing.
The angel Gabriel tells Mary she will give birth to the Son of God. This news astounds her because she has remained pure in her engagement to Joseph. But the news of her upcoming pregnancy is not as alarming as the means of it. She will be impregnated by the Holy Spirit. To be the mother of the Messiah was to be her divine destiny. How this young teenager accepts this news is a lesson for us all. In Luke 1:38, Mary says to Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be unto me as you have said.”
Life lesson: did you know all born-again believers are impregnated by the Holy Spirit? That’s right. And just as Christ grew in Mary until he had to come out, Christ will grow in you and I until the same occurs. He will come out in our words, in our deeds, and in our actions. Every day we live can be a Christmas. You and I, ordinary people, just like Mary can deliver Christ into the world.
Now hear this…God was with Abraham, God was with David, God was with Peter and the Apostles, but God is not just with us; He is in us to live His life through us…our hope of glory. Well, Amen!
As this year comes to an end, would you prayerfully consider a year end contribution to Growing in Grace Ministries? We need your help to continue spreading the truth about the wonderful grace of God, Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Merry Christmas with a Capital C.
We appreciate your continued prayer and financial support. Thank you for your faithfulness.