the sacred ordinary

sacred ordinaryA friend sent me this text today “pondering sacred spaces … (feels like there are none)”. And I wonder if she’s right, because we are looking in the wrong place.

Because the ordinary is actually the sacred.

Because the routine of basting the ham every ten minutes for lunch tomorrow, has a sacredness of its own. Because sitting on the floor and reading “How the Grinch stole Christmas” to my girls, has a sacredness of its own. Because all the preparation for tomorrow: the hanging of washing, the washing of dishes, the making of beds. All these things are both mind-numbingly ordinary, and immensely sacred.

I imagine it was like that for Mary and Joseph. A stable and a manger seemed incredibly ordinary. The Shepherds and the animals would not have seemed like sacred companions for the arrival of the King. And yet in that complete ordinariness there was also the sacred.

I love that about Christmas. I love that it shows us that we did not have to rise to the level of the King, but that he humbled himself, he became ever-so ordinary for us.

And isn’t that the point. He is Emmanuel (Christ with us) and in the preparation, in the boring, in the everyday, yes, even in the ordinary he is there.

He is there. And we just have to stop fighting to create the sacred times by ourselves. We do that don’t we? We strive, and organise, and start traditions in the hope that somehow we can create the sacred. And then we wonder why all the effort we have put in doesn’t work. When all we simply need to do is open our eyes and see him there in the ordinary, making it sacred.

May you open your eyes this Christmas and see the sacredness of your ordinary,
Merry Christmas,