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The Way

    by Kevin Pauley

A Theology of the Trivial
Date Posted: February 20, 2024

The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God." - Luke 1:35-37

God took an ordinary, every day girl and gave her life such a shake that the whole world has been reeling from the results ever since. She was no different from you and I. She did not have some special merit that we do not possess. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

I do not say that in disrespect, but in wonder and hope. For if God was willing to indwell a girl who would not even understand the true nature of what was growing inside her, would not trust the Christ to know what He was doing but instead would declare Him insane, would not even fully believe in His deity until after the resurrection, then there is yet hope for us.

You see, God is an inveterate renovator. He is in the habit of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. The Scriptures show every biblical hero for all his lack. The good, the bad and the ugly facts of their lives are all clearly demonstrated for our education.

The Lord God took each one that was humble enough to recognize his need for God and impregnated their lives with possibility. He planted a seed of hope deep within their hearts and it grew into the miraculous works we have studied for the last few thousand years.

But let’s not simply shake our heads in wonder at the graciousness of our God. Let’s apply this principle to our lives. It is indeed a great thing to learn about the entire Bible. But adding a single virtue to one’s life is a far greater thing. After all, we have been admonished to not be mere hearers but doers of the Word (James 1:22).

We must understand that at its heart Christianity is a theology of the common deed - of the trivial. We are not so much to prepare for the grand deeds of life as we are to manage its trivialities well. Our piety should be unconscious and unassuming; not extravagant, mortifying or ascetic. Rather than seeking nobility, we should like God constantly seek to ennoble the common.

"'Winging It" from Stan Smith

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Biography Information:
I make no claim of superior wisdom or originality. I am a student, just like everyone else. My goal in writing is to simply share whatever God chooses to teach me (many times by my children or parishioners) on any given day. I hope the devotionals are a blessing to you.

Kevin Pauley is a pastor and writer. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Lynn, their five children and two dogs. His internet address is Berea.
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