Summary: At the birth of Jesus, we see an ordinary time, place and people become extraordinary through God's power.
Lanier Christian Church
December 24, 2006
"More than Ordinary"
A Hall County couple made the national news this morning. Bob and Peggy Christmas and their daughter, Mary Christmas, were to appear on NBC’s Today Show this morning to talk about their unique name and how it affects them at Christmas and throughout the year. A limo was to pick them up and take them to the WXIA studio in Atlanta for the interview. They had one stipulation concerning the interview, they had to be back for church services at their church here in town. According to the Times newspaper yesterday, Peggy said: “We had to think about it at first when they first contacted us just because we’re simple people.” Simple, ordinary people, like most of us here in Hall County. And yet, they are now a national news item.
God takes ordinary situations and people and turns them into something wonderful for Him. In God’s hands every person and every situation is more than ordinary. For instance…
1. It was an Ordinary Time....
..... The Romans dominated the country. The Jewish people were captive to Roman law and Roman ways. That is what compelled Joseph to travel with his pregnant wife Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem (some 80 miles). To return to his ancestral home for the purpose of registering for the Roman census. Just another day in a war-torn nation, suffering from the despair of being dominated
by the power of Rome. It was an ordinary time.
Jumping in the time line...1847 was an ordinary time in our country. James K. Polk was serving as President. Salt Lake City was founded. We were at war with Mexico. Postage Stamps were introduced to this country. It was an ordinary time. Except this is the year that someone was born whose birth has changed all of our lives for the better, materially speaking, for in 1847 the inventor of the light bulb, the phonograph, the motion picture, and countless other inventions was born....Thomas Edison.
Yes, it was an ordinary time in Bethlehem, too. Except, for that
extraordinary birth, at a time chosen by God himself. For his birth would change our lives for the better, eternally speaking. Jesus the Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, our friend was born in that ordinary time.
2. It was an Ordinary Place....
....in Bethlehem. Best known for being the city of King David. It was little more than a suburb of Jerusalem, being located a few miles to the South. It was a favorite place for the wealthy to keep their sheep, there in the open pasture. Shepherds carefully tended over their master's sheep in the fields surrounding Bethlehem. It was just an ordinary small town.
Milledgeville, GA is just an ordinary place. Perhaps best known for being home, at one time, to one of the world's largest mental institutions, or perhaps as being the capital of Georgia during the Civil War. An historic city it is, but few outside of Georgia know of its existence or where it is on the map. Just an ordinary town, except for the birth of a baby in 1867, who was given the name Charles Herty. You don't know the name. But you know his invention. When you read the paper every day, remember it was a native of Milledgeville, Charles Herty, who invented the process which turns trees into newsprint.
Yes, Bethlehem was an ordinary place. Except for that extraordinary birth. For in that place, in an ordinary stable. Surrounded by ordinary animals....was born our Savior, Christ the Lord.
3. It was an Ordinary Couple...
...Joseph and Mary. Though they were engaged, or betrothed, under Jewish law Joseph could also call his fiancé his wife. The engagement was just as binding as the marriage. Only a divorce could break the engagement. Neither Joseph nor Mary had any claim to notoriety. In fact, to this day, we know little about either one. Joseph was a Carpenter. And Mary was a young unwed mother to be. She was in an embarrassing situation. They were an ordinary couple awaiting their marriage.
There was another couple. They were ordinary too, this Italian man and woman of the old world. They too were unmarried. The woman, Caterina, was expecting a child. Their situation was not solved with abortion. The child was born in the village of Vinci, illegitimately perhaps, but oh, how he changed the world with his
art and his inventions, so much so that IBM even built many models from his drawings all done in the 1500's. The inventor's name, Leonardo Da Vinci.
Yes, Joseph and Mary were an ordinary couple. Except for that extraordinary birth. It was an extraordinary birth announcement by an angel which appeared first to Mary, then to Joseph. This would not be an illegitimate birth, because the Holy Spirit would cause the birth of this child, born of a virgin....an extraordinary birth indeed!