New Hope Notes
Glory In The Ordinary
Pastor Jon Burgess
As we continue in the series of Rediscovering Christmas, we understand that God loves to do the extraordinary in the ordinary, and that's even from when Jesus grew up in Nazareth. In fact, if you look at the top of your notes, you can actually see when Jesus was recruiting disciples, how people reacted when they found out where he was from.
The Bible says, “The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked. ‘Come and see,’ said Philip.”(John 1:43-46)
1. God’s Glory In The Not So Special
God does special things through those people and circumstances that everyone else wouldn't even consider as worthy or possible. And this may be a little offensive or uncomfortable for you, especially if you're from a Catholic background, but I want to talk to you about the fact that Mary maybe wasn't so special. The idea of her being elevated above the rest of us normal Joes is not actually scriptural.
If you look at the account, you can actually see that she was just a simple girl with a simple faith growing up in a simple way.
The Bible says, “And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant… He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.’” (Luke 1:46-48, 52-53 NIV)
1 Samuel 2:1, 8 says, “My heart rejoiceth in the Lord… He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes.”
Isn't that exactly what the Christmas story is about, that God goes out to the beggars, those who are cast out and passed by, and shows them that God wants to bring glory, honor, power and praise through their story and their life? In fact, I want to do that with you right now.
2. God’s Glory In The Not So Fast
God's glory in the not-so-fast is He's never going to move at our pace. God is never in a hurry, but God is always here. God's never operated on our time, but He's always on time.
The Bible says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, for under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV)
And that phrase "fullness of time" is really a powerful phrase. It means a full number, a full complement, a full measure, that which has been completed.
And what that tells you and me is this: When we're tired of waiting for God to do something, we're about to see the breakthrough we've been waiting for the entire time. And His timing is going to happen right in the middle of our frustration, of our delay, of our disappointment, and our seeming defeat. And Jesus is about to show up. Because it happens in the not-so-fast. We don't see what He's doing behind the scenes.
You realize 300 prophetic words were fulfilled in the life of Jesus? 300 prophecies spoken hundreds of years before Jesus was born, and they're all fulfilled. The mathematics behind just a couple prophecies being fulfilled in one man is just astronomical let alone 300. It is impossible mathematically, and yet we see from Jesus all of these prophecies being fulfilled.
Yes, Mary was visited by an angel. Yes, Joseph was visited by an angel. But that didn't make the miracle come any faster. It still took 9 months for the miracle messiah to come and then to be born.
Here's the point. In the fullness of time, in the not-so-fast, that's when we're going to see the miracle. What is it that you're walking out right now that seems like it's taking an eternity?
When Joseph and Mary were going to Bethlehem, they had no idea that they were fulfilling hundreds of prophecies that were spoken of hundreds of years in the past. You may not realize it right now, but in the middle of your mundane, God is gestating. There is a miracle that is being formed.
In the middle of your ordinary day in and day out travel and traffic and working and sleeping and waking there is a God of the universe who is using your obedience to break through in a way that you cannot possibly orchestrate or imagine. You just have to expect it. Because obedience releases the birth of blessing in your life and mine, and it's going to happen. When it seems like it's taking way too long, don't give up because it's about to come.
3. God’s Glory In The Not So Different
Don't get discouraged because God's glory is found in the not so different. In those days they had the same stresses and the same frustrations as today.
Luke 2:4-7 says, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:4-7 NIV)
In fact, I don't know if you guys realize it, but things that you and I use every single day and we kind of take for granted, they all started in a garage. I wonder what it is that God might want to do in our hearts in this very common place that's not so different from what He did 2,000 years ago.
It was 2,000 years ago that Jesus decided that He would be born in a garage, yeah, the place where they stored their animals, their modes of transportation. That's where Jesus was born. That's where He was birthed.
And in this common place, maybe God wants to do the same thing in you and me. Maybe we've been missing what it is He's been doing all along, but this evening, this moment, God's going to birth a brand new move of His spirit in you. Let's pray.