The Divine Mundane
Probably not the most grammatically correct title for this post since “divine” and “mundane” are both adjectives, but I think this passage of Scripture perfectly describes the divine (proceeding from God or a god) mundane (common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative).
Let’s take a look at Luke 2:1-21.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. 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. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Now I am usually one for digging up as much info as I can on a passage of Scripture and believe me there is much to dig up. But this time I felt led to take in the simplicity of the story.
This telling of Christ’s birth is a beautiful display of how God works through and coordinates every detail in even the mundane of life. Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem while Mary was pregnant because a census was decreed by Caesar Augustus which just so happens to fulfill the prophecy in Micah 5:2 about “a ruler over Israel” being born in Bethlehem.
And then the shepherds. Shepherds, of all people for the angels to come blasting the announcement of Christ Jesus’s birth, the shepherds. Ordinary, run of the mill, lower class, smelly, stinky shepherds were blessed with the biggest most grandest birth announcement EVER in the history of the world.
The angel shared the Good News with these lowly, stinky guys (and possibly, gals) who then not only went to see this babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, they went all over sharing the Good News with everyone else they crossed paths with. All of it Gospel. Gospel.
This may seem a bit out off track but bear with me and let’s travel back to the book of Ruth? Yes, Ruth.
I had the pleasure of digging through Ruth this fall with some beautiful Crossroads women and it opened my eyes to the faithfulness of God even in the mundane. So many times throughout the book, the phrase “it just so happened” either written or implied is stated over and over. But we know as believers that there is no such thing as “it just so happened”.
God is all over every “it just so happened.”
Even the orchestrating of Boaz and Ruth’s wedding which should have been celebrated as if it were the biggest most royal-est wedding of all was just another Jewish union between a man and a woman. Out of that union of two ordinary people, one a Jew and the other a Moabitess, God already knew that out of these two ordinary people, whose hearts were poised to obeying God, that His Son would be born from that lineage.
We serve a God who sent His one and only Son on an ordinary day in an ordinary town of Bethlehem birthed by an ordinary Jewish girl whose husband was no one special and whose lineage goes back to two other ordinary people that God just so happened to have cross paths one day.
Dear ones, can we be content in the Divine Mundane of celebrating Christ’s birth? Can we be content in the Divine Mundane of daily life?
Because if you really think about it, every moment is a moment of Divine Mundane. He just so happens to give us breath in our lungs and He just so happens to be with us as we wake up every morning and start our day whatever that may look like. Every moment is Divine Mundane. Every moment is Gospel.
And we get to celebrate our King Jesus in this season not only for his divine mundane birth but we celebrate King Jesus for his Glorious and Triumphal return.
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
-Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847