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This devotion is part of the Jesse Tree Advent devotion series. 

Scripture reading: Luke 1:26-38

Imagine the ordinariness of this moment: Mary is padding around the house in her socks, wiping the crumbs off the breakfast table and washing the dishes. She stands at the sink, one hand plunged into the dishwater to clean the spoons, the other tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

Or maybe she’s weeding the garden or assembling a bookshelf that’s been sitting in a box in the front hall all week. Who knows—she might be walking to the corner store to pick up some cold medicine. Whatever she’s doing, it’s so ordinary that it’s not worth mentioning.

What isn’t ordinary is the unexpected arrival of an angel, who interrupts her with his tidings. He breaks into her day, changing the character not just of that moment but of her life as a whole—and of every life, the ones that came before and the ones that would come after.

Her life won’t be ordinary anymore. Mary might do ordinary things again—walk the dog, take out the trash, have the neighbors over for dinner—but those moments will be shot through with the reality that her son, Jesus Christ, is the Son of the Most High.

History is changed. The God of the universe has just taken up residence in the womb of a human. This is the moment where God unites himself to humanity in the person of Jesus. It’s not just the angel who is breaking in; God himself is breaking in, infusing all of history with his redemptive love. Knowing that truth, let’s consider every moment holy.

Prayer

Most High God, what an incredible thing you’ve done by entering into history as a human being and redeeming me as one of your own. As I go about my day, help me to remember that fact. Keep me attentive to the holiness of each moment. Nothing is ordinary anymore. Amen.

About the author

Grace Claus is resident theologian and editor for Faithward. She's also managing editor of RCA Today, the denominational magazine of the Reformed Church in America.