Summary: Life is not made up of special days. It may have some extraordinary days sprinkled throughout the year but life is filled with ordinary days. The problem is that we can begin to live for the special days when the real issue in life is staying faithful and
A Song for Ordinary Days
As we approach Christmas, how many of you can remember the days of your childhood when you began looking forward to Christmas, weeks if not months ahead? You watched all the more intently the commercials on TV for the latest toys, put together your Christmas wish list, begged, prodded and pleaded with your parents to get everything on the list and then when the day arrived, you woke up before dawn ready to open your presents? And then how many of you remember the after-Christmas lull, when the aura of the new toys had worn off, your friends were nowhere to be seen and you were bored? What we begin to realize is that life is not made up of special days. It may have some extraordinary days sprinkled throughout the year but life is filled with ordinary days. The problem is that we can begin to live for the special days when the real issue in life is staying faithful and obedient to God in those 1000 upon 1000 of ordinary days that make up your life. And what you do in those ordinary days will determine not only the impact of your life but also the eternal outcome.
When we think of ordinary people at Christmas, no person comes to mind more than Mary. Mary was an ordinary teenager who was chosen to birth the Jesus miracle in her. If Mary was ordinary, then why did God trust Mary with His son? That’s a difficult question to answer particularly from the Gospels because we’re not given much information about Mary. We are only given glimpses into Mary’s life and those times, by in large, are extraordinary times like pregnancy, the birth of Jesus, Jesus’ bar mitzvah when he was 12, and then the last week of Jesus’ life. What we don’t see are those 1000’s of ordinary days in her life when she remains faithful to God.
Our Scripture today is the first song of Advent, historically speaking, and Mary wrote it. This song has been called the Magnificat and what we see is that it is Mary’s life song. That raises a question I want you to consider this morning: what is your life song? John Sherry writes, “As we go through life, we listen to 1000’s upon 1000’s of songs...Some we like, most we forget, and then one or two become memorable. Our favorites. They represent something we’ve been through or reflect something about our personality. Their words or sentiments are ‘us’. It’s as if we are singing and we wrote the tune about our life. Our own life in song. There’s always a song that we shout proudly, ‘That’s me’. One song that is personally ours….A song that is our badge, our slogan, our reason for being. Why we are here, what we believe, who we are deep down, what we feel, what we think. The true person we are. And then he asks, “What’s your song? What song says, ‘Me’? What song represents everything you see yourself as or everything you have been through? What song makes you jump up with joy to be you the whole day through? What makes you…passionate, happy and alive? What’s your song?”
There are several things we learn today about your lifesong. First, your song carries you through every situation. Mary says “God has been mindful of my humble state…” The word in our Scripture today was humble but the Greek word literally means low in social status, poor and depressed. Mary’s life situation was that she was poor, pregnant and not married. And I remind you that she is only 12 or 13 years old. This would cause a stigma on her for the rest of her life in her small town of Nazareth, which had only a couple of hundred people living in it. It was small enough that everybody knew everybody’s business. No one was going to believe the Holy Spirit got her pregnant. Worse yet, in the eyes of the Jews she committed adultery which carried a death sentence if Joseph had decided to pursue his legal right.
What is your life situation right now? The state of our lives the last two years have been challenging to say the least. The economic downturn has brought tension, financial instability and more doubt about the future into our lives than ever before. Now when you are living in a challenging and frustrating time, it is easy to be derailed and lose your God bearings. Through sickness, divorce, unemployment, it is easy to lose your God focus. The angel came to Mary and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Too many of us have not been listening to the Lord of heaven but instead have been listening to the Lord of Lies who says, “You have royally messed up and you’re not worthy of God or His grace upon your life.” These Spirits will taunt you that God’s best purposes for you will never be realized and that you deserve less than God’s best. Your past failures and sins will be used to make you feel less qualified and less worthy and thus of little use to God. No! What did God say? Not only will I remove your sin but “I will remember your sin no more.” And so the choice is which voice are you going to listen to?