“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger …” Luke 2:7
The message of the gospel is so simple that a child can understand it. The theologian Karl Barth was once asked if he could sum up his life’s work in theology in one sentence, to which Barth replied, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” Our God tends to use the simple and ordinary things of life to accomplish His extra-ordinary purposes! He sends tiny droplets of rain from the sky, which fill streams, which go to on to feed rivers, and lakes, and oceans. Great torrents of water provide hydro-electric power for millions, originating from just tiny droplets of rain!
This principle is seen repeatedly throughout Scripture. God uses tent pegs and pebbles to bring down rulers; he uses jars and trumpets to bring down nations; and He uses the words of a slave girl to bring healing to the captain of the Syrian army. This Christmas season we celebrate the fact that God used a young woman, a stable, and a feeding trough to bring the Saviour of mankind into the world!
God also uses the simple means of believers sharing their hearts and lives, with those who are hurting, to build His church. He may use the meal you cook for a sick family, the time you spend talking with a friend, or the way you open your home to someone in need. For many of us, anxiety about our home not being perfectly decorated for Christmas, may cause us to refrain from reaching out and being a blessing. But God uses broken people, and ordinary means to accomplish His extraordinary purposes, so that He receives all the glory! Someone has once said, “No-one comes to a star-gazing event to marvel at the telescope; they come to marvel at the stars.” We need to make sure that those we are seeking to bless, are marvelling, not at the pristine condition of our homes, or the delicacy of our meals, but at the love and caring of our Saviour, as He shines through our lives! This Christmas and beyond, may God be pleased to shine the simplicity of the gospel, through our simple acts of kindness and words of gospel love, into the hearts and lives of all our neighbours!