Extraordinary in the Ordinary

I eagerly anticipate Christmas because of those special once a year activities that mark the holiday: putting up lights, decorating the tree, baking cookies, singing carols, receiving gifts, gathering with family, and on and on. My ordinary daily routine gets put aside as we celebrate the extraordinary event.

But when the holiday ends and the decorations are put away. I breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to the return of an ordinary daily routine.

We celebrate the coming of Emmanuel, (the word means God with us), that life changing and world changing event that began in an ordinary way with the birth of a baby. A birth is an extraordinary event for a family but an ordinary, routine process that has happened billions of times since the world began. God chose to live with us in an ordinary time and an ordinary place and in an ordinary way to show us that that is where the extraordinary happens.

I wait for miracles expecting them to be announced by angels singing and a star lighting up the sky and wise men bringing gifts. I wait for God’s call and look for a burning bush and listen for a rushing wind or a thundering voice.

But while I am waiting for the extraordinary to happen, it is in the small, seemingly insignificant, routine events that I am suddenly aware of God. When lighting a candle during the Christmas Eve service, I know God is with me and calling me by name. That small flames passed from person to person lights up the sky and announces the presence of God. Standing with my children and hearing them sing a familiar Christmas carol is when I hear the angel’s announcement ringing through the heavens.

The extraordinary love and grace of God is always there, whether I have decorated and baked and shopped and prepared or if it has just been an ordinary day. It all depends on if I let the stresses of the ordinary block my ability to see the possibility of the extraordinary in my daily routine.

Ann Culotta–2003

Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see You in every ordinary happening this season,
make every moment extraordinary by Your presence.

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