Bread, wine, water, carpenter, Nazareth. Ordinary things, ordinary people, and ordinary places. Two-thousand years ago these were all just parts of the of everyday life. Yet today, all throughout scripture, we see these ordinary things being used to connect us with Christ in extraordinary ways. Bread and wine, the most common staples of that time, now remind us of our relationship with Christ. Water now gives us new spiritual life through baptism. And the carpenter from Nazareth, once thought to be a just a regular joe from the backwoods, has built for us a new kingdom as Savior of the world. It’s the ordinary things of the world that have been used by God to do extraordinary things.
Yet in today’s world, we continually see and hear the opposite. We are bombarded with advertisements, books, and social media sites that tells us we should be “exceptional”, and “different”, and be “number one” … just like everybody else. And while it’s easy to point fingers at the secular world, we see the same trend in Christianity as well. We see book titles claiming to helps us all be “radical” or to live our “best life” ever. After a while we begin to realize that if everyone is different, or radical, or their best ever, then we’re all just ordinary. And when we dig a little deeper, we see that the ordinary is just as meaningful and good today and it was two-thousand years ago.
When we read authors such as Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway – it’s always the ordinary person who makes the difference in the end. It’s always something that’s been in front of you the entire time, that changes the outcome of the story. Even in today’s superhero movies, like Captain America, Spiderman, or Star Wars – we see someone once considered insignificant by many, become the hero for all.
As an avid fan of theology books, yes people like us do exist, we can see these truths as well. From A.W. Tozer’s classic Pursuit of God: Finding the Divine in the Everydayto Michael Horton’s Ordinary– we are reminded that God uses today’s ordinary people, like you and I, to be a part of something greater than ourselves. And in one of my most recent favorites, Liturgy of the Ordinaryby recently Tish Harrison Warren – we are reminded that every single little thing from making our bed, to brushing our teeth, to sitting in traffic – can be used for God’s glory, to draw us closer to Him. To make us disciples of Christ.
And so collectively, we learn that discipleship is found in the ordinary. The mom or dad who makes sack lunches every morning and takes the kids to school – ordinary discipleship. The custodian who’s been changing out the same trashcan in the same office building for over 25 years – ordinary discipleship. The underpaid teacher who teaches the same thing over and over every year – ordinary discipleship. The list goes on and on. In fact, it will… here on this blog. Every few weeks you will read stories, hear excepts from books, or read about interviews where ordinary people become used by God in ordinary ways to become part of something extraordinary. I hope you will become a part of this journey towards Ordinary Discipleship.