By Ryan Peterson

“ME?” Imagine what Mary must have thought as her world was turned upside down within a mere moment.

Mary. Ordinary Mary. Her life was as ordinary as ordinary could be in those days. Based on what we know, her parents don’t appear to be anyone significant; nothing much is said about her early life. She’s a small-town girl. Her soon-to-be husband Joseph, though a good guy, is ordinary as well.

Think about it.

• Why wouldn’t God choose someone more significant or important?
• If He was going to send a king to earth, why not send him to a palace?
• If he were going to entrust His son to earthly parents, then why this young, country girl?

Above all else, though: if God was to bring salvation into the world, why would He do it through someone like Mary? She’s too ordinary, too plain, too simple.

But God comes to the ordinary in real, personal, and concrete ways. Our deepest needs are met by a very real and personal God. That’s how God works. He doesn’t need to, but He chooses to work through simple and sinful people.

Don’t believe me? Read story after story in the Bible, where ordinary people are changed by an extraordinary God. It can happen personally to you and through you.

I love what Pastor Rossow said on Sunday at St. Luke: “The gift of Jesus is for me. It’s good news for the whole world. But it’s good news for me, too.” Amen and amen.

The personal side of the Gospel, which Mary received thousands of years ago, is personal for us ordinary folks living in the 21st century.  It’s personal for you, in the real, flesh and bones person of Jesus Christ. Ordinary elements of bread and wine are exactly what Jesus Christ says they are in the Lord’s Supper: His body and blood, FOR YOU. Jesus comes in personal and concrete ways, even today. He speaks words of love and truth, of compassion and concern.

As Christ has come to you, He invites you to pass on His personal love in a personal way in these upcoming weeks. Someone in your life needs YOU this Christmas because they need JESUS this Christmas. “Ordinary you” (just like “ordinary me”) can be used in real ways by our extraordinary God to give a concrete and specific promise of salvation and hope to a real person. Who is it, and what will it look like in reality this Christmas?