After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of god has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”. (Mark 1:14-15)
This week saw the passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore, a man who undoubtedly inspired a nation, when in the lead up to his 100th birthday, he decided to raise money for the NHS in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic by walking lengths of his garden. With the goal of raising £1000 by his birthday, Sir Tom raised £3.9 million for the charity ‘NHS Charities Together’ and became a household name renowned for his heroism, selflessness and ability to give hope.
But looking at Sir Tom, there was nothing immediately striking about him. He was an ordinary man who did an ordinary thing many of us do every day, but made an extraordinary impact in the midst of such difficult times. The word ‘ordinary’ is a word not often associated with Christians. As followers of Christ, we habitually expect the pomp and the pizazz of miracles and spectacular events such as the blind seeing and the cripple walking. So much so that sometimes we miss the opportunities in the ordinary.
After the drama of what happened with John the Baptist, the time had arrived for Jesus to begin his ministry. It is of no surprise that it would have been anticipated for him to begin his ministry in Jerusalem, the epicentre of religion. But he began his ministry in the ordinary region of Galilee, his hometown. There was nothing special about Galilee with it’s ordinary people, mountainous regions and plain landscape. It was a place not filled with scholars who would be more inclined to understand Jesus’s teachings, or those with advanced skills. But there is a gift in the ordinary – ‘But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise…’ (1 Cor 1:27). Jesus used the ordinary to do the extraordinary, with the majority of the miracles in his ministry being performed in Galilee through ordinary men and women.
In the period of lockdown, the days can become blurred as the monotony of staying at home can begin to feel mundane. As stats show that there has been a huge increase in online streaming transactions such as gambling and online games, the need for thrill-seeking has never been more evident than now. However, God uses us in the ordinary places, in our day-to-day lives.
So this week, don’t belittle the ordinary days, the ordinary places and the ordinary things. God is working in those arenas, and if you are not aware and alert in seeking the opportunities, you can miss what God is doing with you.