God in the Mundane
When you read the Christmas story do you ever wonder why it’s so modest? Think about it, the King of Kings, Lord of all creation, Savior of the world, God Himself, is making His first appearance on earth in the flesh, His “debut” so to speak, and He comes as a newborn. Not even a newborn of a family with status, but a newborn to a 15 year old in a small country town that no one was thinking about.
But then again, that’s the Kingdom of God, right?
Jesus made His debut in the most fitting way. It was the perfect start to a life dedicated to flipping the script on greatness through humility and service.
The Bible gives us a sort of highlight reel of Jesus’ life and ministry. Nearly every chapter of the gospel contains one, or multiple, miracles. But there are thousands of undocumented moments, the “in-between the mountain-top” moments. While we don’t know exactly what filled that time, context clues can help fill in the gaps. We know they walked everywhere, so I bet there was a lot of walking and talking going on among Jesus and the disciples, a lot of cooking, running to the market to get essentials, making dinner, setting up camp, etc.
When Jesus wasn’t healing the leper, raising the dead or feeding the five thousand, His life could be seen as pretty mundane, slow, or dare I say, boring. But He was still Jesus. Still Emmanuel. Still Lord of all creation and Savior of the world. Still walking closely with His disciples, aware of His mission and the end game of His life on earth. He experienced mountain-top moments, valleys and then all the moments in between.
This pattern of mountain-tops, valleys and moments in between feels a lot like life in 2021. Mountain-tops are finding out you’re pregnant when you were told you couldn’t have kids, getting that promotion at work, buying your first home, etc. Valleys are being laid-off, the death of a loved one, trying to get through a year like 2020, etc. And then there’s everything else. There’s getting your kids to basketball practice, grocery shopping, cooking dinner with your spouse or roommates, sitting in traffic on 65 (trigger warning) and everything else that could be considered the “mundane” parts of life.
I find comfort in knowing that Jesus also had moments in between, just like the moments in all of our lives that never make it to the Instagram highlight reel. And if we were to do the math, the moments of mundane take up a lot more time than the mountains and valleys, in fact the moments in between make up most of our lives.
But I find more comfort in knowing that just as Jesus was still present with His disciples and living on mission between miracles, the same is true for how He relates to you and me. In fact, it’s in the quiet, mundane moments of our lives that the still small voice is easiest to hear most of the time.
In Matthew 6, when Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray we find an illustration and model for the intersection of the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus’ prayer starts with acknowledging the extraordinary, our Father in heaven, and invites heaven to come to earth. When we model our lives the same way, first and foremost setting our hearts on God our Father, the mundane life is an invitation for God to move. The simplest of moments are an opportunity to experience His presence and an invitation to wonder about the mundane.
My encouragement to you as you go about the rest of your day or week is to follow Jesus’ lead and invite heaven to come to earth, ask God where He is and where He’s already been in your every day, and to linger a little longer on the things that you would normally zip by in order to get to the next task.
Ben Rector said it best…
“Cause life is not the mountain tops,
It’s the walkin’ in between.”