The celebration of Christmas and the holiday season leading up to it is a magnificent celebration of faith, hope, love, and waiting for great things to come into existence from the seemly ordinary circumstances. I often think, if the inn keeper only knew the impact of the baby that Mary was carrying would have on the history of the world and the good of mankind, what more would he or could he have done to make accommodations for Jesus Christ’s birth and entrance in the world. Would he have given up space in his own home? But what went happened in reality was very ordinary and even unconventional.
We find many things God does in the Bible narratives bringing ordinary circumstances to extraordinary life and power. Where the story seems to start is almost never where it finishes. Jesus is born in a manger, among the sights and smells of a barn. Nothing special at the time but God used that ordinary circumstance to do something that would turn the tables of history forever.
Jesus was born in less than ideal circumstances. There was great expectation by the immediate participants surrounding the birth of Christ but the rest of the world had no idea what had just happened and what it meant for the future of the world at that time. How could they? Jesus’ earthly parents were not wealthy by any means and had very little to give but Mary and Joseph gave Jesus Christ life and an entrance in this world. We did not have news or social media like we do today so this was a quiet and humble occurrence. Again, a simple start.
By those humble beginnings, Christ’s life went on to change the world in amazing ways. Our lives as Christians would never be the same after being changed by the love of who we know Son of Man and Savior of mankind. It was with great expectation that our lives were going to change with Jesus’ birth, but many at the time were looking for the heavens to erupt with thunder and fanfare and for an already-grown messiah to enter the world as a King and Lord, not a baby being born in a barn because the inn had no room.
Our Heavenly Father God used Jesus’ entrance into this world to demonstrate that many great things have humble beginnings and not to discount the ordinary happenings of life but to treat new beginnings with love, hope and faith. The late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great!” True words here in the birth story of our Savior. From this humble barn and manger arose a story that would be told centuries later by countless generations.
When my son Jackson was born, I was amazed at how helpless newborn infants are and how much they depend on the love of their parents and other caretakers to survive until they learn how to feed and care for themselves.
The fact that God chose the “human route” for the Savior of the world shows us that God’s love for humanity is real and unfiltered. By that I mean that Jesus was born into this world the same way other humans were and was dependent on his parent’s care before he could become the amazing Lord we know today. Mary and Joseph were two ordinary people that God used to nurture this baby into the man who saved the world.
In the same way God worked through the birth of our Lord, I encourage you to nurture your new ordinary beginnings in the same way as we end this year and start a new year. Bring, faith, hope and especially LOVE in your new beginnings and life in Christ. Let go of your past and let God shape your future in new ways and take the ordinary you start with to an extraordinary new level. After all, where you start is only the beginning of the story. Let the love of God in Christ lead you through your new seasons of life. God bless you all! Dustin Vaughn Warncke