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The Mundane: Advent Devotional #3

Many people believe in miracles. We hear it when someone survives an accident that totaled their vehicle: “It is a miracle I survived!” they might say. We hear it when a terminal patient given only months to live celebrates 3 years with no end in sight: “The doctors told me I’d be gone by now. It’s a miracle!” We hear it in numerous stories from around the world such as the “Miracle on the Hudson” or when all 12 Thai youth soccer players and their coach were rescued from a flooded cave after 2 weeks or when all 33 miners were rescued in Chile after being trapped for 2 months underground. Many people call these miracles! Sometimes we even point to simpler things like the sacrificial love and provision given at a place like Christian Care as an example of God doing miraculous work in our world. Rarely, however, do people talk about God at work in their own simple, daily lives even though the story of our savior shows us that is exactly where God loves to work.


Nothing could have been more profound than the birth of the Son of God to bring salvation to the world. Yet, when we consider the facts surrounding that event, we can’t help but notice just how ordinary the details are. God chose for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, a city only brought out of obscurity because it was the birthplace of King David. Nazareth, the city where the angel appeared to Mary and where Mary and Joseph were from, was so insignificant Luke has to label it “a city of Galilee named Nazareth” so that people would know where it was located (1:26). God chose Mary, a young virgin, and Joseph, a humble carpenter, to be the people who would raise the Messiah. The savior of the world was then born in a stable surrounded by donkeys and cattle. These descriptions are the very epitome of mundane and regular.

People might look at their own regular, mundane lives and wonder how God could work through them. They may work at John Deer, Arconic or some other large corporation and feel like the time spent at their jobs can’t have as much value as the time that a pastor or missionary spends at theirs. However, we can clearly see from the telling of Jesus’ birth that God chooses to accomplish His work in the midst of the everyday. While we may focus on the miraculous elements of the birth of Jesus such as the angels or the virgin giving birth, the majority of the story is actually rather ordinary and not what you would expect: a stable, Nazareth, a teenage girl and a carpenter.

We cannot escape the fact that God loves to work through the mundane. We can know that no matter our jobs or our circle of influence, God desires to work through us where we are to bring hope to others and to build His kingdom.

—Practice This—

Over the next 2 days, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you pay special attention to the people around you and to look for ways that you can bring hope and joy to them in the midst of your daily routine. It could be sharing a smile and a friendly word with a coworker, grabbing a handful of change for the salvation army kettles as you head to the store, or sending an encouraging e-mail to a friend. As you go through this process, are you finding more opportunity for God to work through you in the mundane?

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