I love looking back at the pictures of my children. I currently have 12,229 pictures of my phone. At least half of them are my children doing ordinary things I find special. One recent picture is of my oldest, holding a piece of toast with apple butter and pointing to it. I feel like it would be a funny advertisement. Although, it will never be. It will always be an ordinary picture of my child eating toast. Yet, it is extraordinary to me.
I wondered “what parenting looks like in ordinary moments.” Fighting to get a baby to take a bottle, demands to watch Pooh, or the constant wondering of what is going to happens when I step out of the room for one minute. All vocations can be overwhelming, especially the vocation of parent. Thankfully, we don’t have a Father in heaven who is perfect to live up to.
Oh wait, we do. That led me to wonder what it looks like to be a Christian in those ordinary moments. I know it looks like continuing to love and serve my spouse and children every day. I know it’s living how God would want me to live. It’s telling others about how Christ lived a perfect life and chose to die on the cross to take away my sins, and rose again. It’s also seeking God in His Word and Sacraments. It’s so… ordinary.
God works through ordinary means like bread, wine, and water to bring forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation to all people. He takes something ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Truthfully, he makes it more than extraordinary, God makes it holy. Through His Word God miraculously takes the bread and wine in the Sacrament of Holy Communion and combines it with His Word to bring us holy and extraordinary gifts. He takes the water in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism and takes this just plain water and makes it not just plain water. He makes it a life giving source to all who believe in Him. Even if people don’t realize the significance of what God did, it doesn’t make it less extraordinary, holy, or significant.
Our holy and extraordinary God even humbled himself and took on flesh in the form of Jesus. He was a baby, child, and adult. He seemed like an ordinary human to all people. Yet, we can’t even fully fathom how the God of all creation worked in such an ordinary way to accomplish such an extraordinary thing such as our redemption, reconciliation with God, and the ultimate defeat of the Devil.
Not only that, even before Jesus God used ordinary people to do extraordinary things like miracles, leading His people, and sharing His Word. Looking back at Moses, Aaron, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and others we can be baffled at the amazing things God did through them. In the New Testament we can look to Peter, Paul, and others. Yet they were still sinners and they were just ordinary people. Just ordinary people like us.
God does amazing things through us as well. Through our ordinary days and interactions, God gives us countless opportunities to share His Word and love. Sometimes that’s an eloquent presentation of the Gospel like what Paul, Peter, and Isaiah could do. Maybe it’s simply supporting another like how Aaron supported Moses. Sometimes it’s hoping a child listened to the Gospel of Matthew while eating toast with apple butter.