We are ordinary people. To be ordinary does not mean our lives are insignificant. Created in the image of God, our lives are of immense value. Being ordinary means that in our humanity we are all the same in the goodness out of which we were created by God. We are all the same in our capacity to sin. We were all born. We get hungry, we get full. We get tired, we get rest. We are healthy, we are ill. We are sad, we are happy. We live our lives, and we die. In our common humanity, none of us has escaped the consequences of the pandemic. The quality of each of our lives differs. The ordinariness of our humanity remains the same.
Christmas can remind us that Jesus lived true to the ordinariness of his humanity. He was born in a stable. His first crib was a feeding trough for cows. He worked as a carpenter. He spent his adulthood as a traveling preacher. He died between two ordinary people, one who was repentant, one who was not.
Through the ordinariness of his humanity, Jesus sought to restore the best of who we are as human beings created in God’s image. He sought, through his ordinary life, to help us believe in God’s unconditional love for us in the ordinariness of our lives.
Jesus lived life as an ordinary human being hoping that we would not think we had to compete with others for God’s love. He lived hoping that we would not think that we have to be more than we are in order to earn God’s love. Jesus sought through his ordinary life to help us believe that God loves us just because God loves us.
Putting his own life at risk, Jesus never gave up on us and our goodness. A goodness so profound that it was worth dying for. Jesus loves us so much that he opened his ordinary arms on the cross embracing all of our humanity. Those outstretched arms of love led to the glory of the resurrection.
This Christmas, may we be liberated from the stress of wishing we could be who we are not, or that times were different than they are. May we be free from thinking we or anybody else need to be superheroes. It is in living our ordinary lives in these extraordinary times that Jesus continues to unconditionally love us. May the Lord help us to be faithful to the ordinariness of our lives.
A blessed Christmas to all!
Very Rev. Christopher H. Smith, Rector