The Glory of Christ: Fellowship in the mundane with the lowly

October 18, 2010

We live in a world where one’s nearness to God is often gauged by their ministry impact. Because of that, a position in ministry is sought by so many as the way to greater intimacy with God. Unfortunately we’ve dichotomized “ministry” and “the rest of life”, and thus trivialized and belittled the common tasks of our day and think of them as “less than”, never giving them opportunity to be an escort into deep fellowship with the Holy One. It’s because of this that I am fully convinced I am not even close to understanding how near God came to us in the Incarnation.

Jesus of Nazareth, God in the flesh, not only embraced but crowned the common. By all measures of men, His ministry was mostly unsuccessful because it resulted in His death and did not have the impact that many were expecting. We so quickly forget that He fully knew the human experience in the everyday toil and monotony of life. Born in scandal, dwelling in complete obscurity for almost three decades, and never seeking His own fame or glory, Jesus embraced the human plight and made a way for each moment of monotony to be a doorway of fellowship.

Because He is so intimately acquainted with us, there is truly no situation or event too trivial, nothing too small, and nothing too mundane to consecrate and bring before Him as an offering of love. When cleaning our house, mowing our lawn, taking care of our children, serving at our job, or making a meal, we must remember that He is deeply near and familiar.

But monotony is not dignified simply because Jesus did common things. The treasure in offering the ordinary things to Him in love is found in realizing that God has joined Himself with the lowly. It is in ordinary everyday moments that He desires to meet us and nurture our hearts in extravagant devotion, love, and loyalty. Brother Lawrence says:

“We ought not weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”

Dana Candler says: “The same love that fuels martyrdom begins in monotony.” If the Bible describes days of trouble ahead that will ultimately end for many in giving up their lives for Jesus, we must not imagine that the grace to give ourselves entirely to God will come in one heightened moment of pressure. That divine grace will come through cultivation of thousands of moments throughout our lives as we set our hope fully upon the day Jesus returns. (1 Peter 1:13) The key to reaping a harvest of righteousness in the evil day is to daily receive a fresh shower of His love in the ordinary and secret moments day after day. (Galatians 6:8)

If the glory of God has now been revealed in the face of Jesus the Messiah (2 Corinthians 4:6), may we not be ones who seek a large ministry impact as our means to intimacy with God. The lowliness and humility of the Incarnation openly revealed God’s desire to give us access to His heart. Contemplation of Jesus’ life and identity will help us to never forget that the eternal, uncreated God became a real human that endured the toil and mundaneness of everyday life. He is intimately acquainted with the human experience. He is our Brother. We fellowship with Him in the mundane because He allows His heart to be moved by every word, action, and choice we make in love for Him.

Wholehearted living begins today in the common and ordinary, not on a distant day in the future. May the Lord give you grace to abandon yourself to Him today, offering the common, ordinary tasks of your life to Him in love and extravagance.

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Beautiful.

Beautiful.

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