The Joy of an Ordinary Christmas

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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Smell of hay, a newborn's cry, makeshift crib, anxious first-time parents away from family and friends—uncertain and confusing times, politically and personally. These were the ordinary circumstances for the most extraordinary event ever. In a cave serving as a stable and as a lodge and birthing room, outside a small village, in a tiny nation, God becomes a human infant, entrusted to a young couple to be nurtured and raised like any other child. A most ordinary, really rather bleak, subordinary first Christmas.

In that drafty smelly cave, Incarnation! Eternal God, Lord of all time, Creator of all things, life itself becomes ordinary, everyday human flesh and “moves into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message). The Holy One (The Word) is a human child, helpless, dependent, learning, growing, with all the limitations and potentials of human flesh and personality. Jesus, apprentice carpenter turned itinerant teacher, knows what it is to be exhausted, as well as vigorous and energized, desperately hungry as well as lavishly fed, surrounded by friends or alone, honored and condemned. The enfleshed God experienced it all, like us, for us. Now this is cause for great joy!

Christmas tells us that God makes Himself present and available in all the ordinary, everyday places—work, home, neighborhood, club, mall. “This is my Father's world.” The whole natural world is a cathedral; every table is the Lord's table; every expression of human ingenuity, stewardship, or loving service is an indication, an incident of God's active presence. Because of Christmas, God is here, day in and day out. Can you hear Him, see Him, rejoice in Him, find peace in Him?

No need to make this Christmas more wonderful, exceptional, perfect, extraordinary—it already is. Christ is here! There is joy and peace in an ordinary Christmas!