Luke 2: 39-40 (NIVUK)
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Luke 2: 39 is one of those things that I tend to love about the Bible. Sometimes it’s just about people doing stuff. nobody's feeding 5,000 and nobody’s calming storms and walking on waves. Here, after the birth of the very son of God (the same one who would feed said 5,000 and walk across water and basically just change the entire universe) Mary and Joseph (who have just become the most important parents on planet earth since Adam and Eve) have to make sure they have signed all their forms at the DWP. Joseph, if he’s anything like me, probably had to take a bunch of them in case he messed the first few up.
And they just went home.
Cos that’s what we do, don’t we? After all the big stuff, the high drama, the fireworks and such. After it’s over we all just go home. I mean what else are you going to do? The show eventually stops and we are left with ourselves and it’s back to our normal life.
It can be really hard to settle down for sure and adjusting to the pace of the day to day takes a bit of doing, but it’s still there. We get up, we do our thing for the day, and we settle back to down to sleep.
That’s where God really meets us in the person of Jesus though isn’t it? A God who exists out of time and space but who also sat on the steps of some Galilean store front and scuffed some dirt with his sandal because he was waiting for his mum to fetch the groceries, where 5 minutes must have seemed like an hour.
A God who knew his time was short, looking out at a sunset and who loved it all the more for the fact it would be gone and never repeated.
A God who asked “Why have you forsaken me?” because we are human, and he was human and sometimes we get really, really frightened.
I like to think of the ordinary lives of the extraordinary folk in the Bible, doing their taxes, putting out the rubbish, burning the dinner. Jesus in the kitchen.
I think, to want to become one of us, to communicate and harmonise with these ordinary beautiful creatures is a miracle and a beauty beyond price. This, I believe, is grace.
Jesus, thanks for getting up to go to work — just like me
Jesus, thanks for getting hungry and looking for food — just like me
Jesus, thanks for getting tired and dirty and longing for bed — just like me
Jesus, thanks for waking up in the morning, not thinking about anything very much and doing your thing today — just like me
Jesus thanks for being just like me, but not me,
for being God amongst us and around us and for filling me with all of your grace and love
so that I can continue to be — just like me.
But more like you.