Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Finding sacredness in the ordinary

Sacredness in the Ordinary
A devotional by Kay Pflueger

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
– Mark 8:36 (ESV)

When you think of the word ‘ordinary’, what comes to mind?

Dull? Unpolished? Rough-hewn? The Dictionary by Merriam-Webster defines “ordinary” as “of common quality, rank, or ability.” Using that definition, it seems odd to think of finding something sacred in what is seen as ordinary. After all, if something is sacred, it is regarded with great respect and reverence and is often set apart.

How can something be sacred and ordinary at the same time? The terms seem to be incongruous. We can look at Jesus for an answer to this question. He was an ordinary man, born to humble human people but, yet He was God incarnate. He came to Earth in human form but was still God. Ordinary but sacred.

I live what I consider an ordinary life because I do not have a fancy car or live in a mansion. As I write this, I am sitting at a desk that I have had since my high school days. It has its share of dings and chipped paint but when I think of all the journal entries or school papers I have written and the Bible studies I have done while sitting here, I find a sacredness in its shape and form. A simple rocking chair that has been in my husband’s family for generations sits in the corner of my living room. I wonder how many babies have been rocked to sleep in that chair. How many lullabies have been sung or prayers whispered while sitting in that humble space?

Something as simple as the common table prayer “Come Lord Jesus” is made sacred when we truly invite Him to join us as a guest for the meal. As we ask Him to bless our time together, we bring an air of reverence to that time of fellowship. Brother Lawrence—a 17th century monk—wrote the following in a book titled, The Practice of the Presence of God: “Our sanctification does not depend on changing our works but in doing that for God’s sake that which we commonly do for our own.”

By inviting Jesus Christ to be a part of our ordinary lives, what we are doing changes from what is mundane to that which is beautiful … from that which is ordinary to the extraordinary, and it even moves it from the temporal to the sacred. It creates harmony between what may seem dull and unpolished with what is seen as sacred and revered. I believe when we view something as being sacred, we are creating a bond with the Lord and are inviting Him into that space.

We have heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Where do you find beauty? Do you find it in the compilation of things and wealth—or are you able to find sacredness in the ordinary? What seemingly simple things can you view as precious? Is it possibly a cool breeze wafting in through an open window which makes us think of the breath of God? The aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread which reminds of God’s daily provision? Or maybe it is in the beauty of a song of praise to God the Father?

The verse in Mark reminds us that by putting our hope in temporal things, we risk losing our soul. What is to be gained by the accumulation of possessions? Worshiping wealth and prestige places a label on those things as sacred when in reality they are fleeting. Money and power can be lost in an instant but a relationship with the Lord is eternal.

I encourage you today to look around you for sacredness in the ordinary.

You may just find beauty and sacredness in what someone else may see as normal. The holiness of God can be found even in the most humble of things.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, Open our eyes to the wonder of Your holiness. Just as Your words in Psalm 37:4 remind us to take delight in you, help us to find delight in the sacredness of the ordinary. Let us feel your presence in the routines of our day-to-day lives. Encourage us to find beauty in the humble. In your son Jesus Christ's holy and precious name, we lift this prayer to you. Amen. 

Author Bio:

Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty.

Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.

When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.

Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.

Kay is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego California.

She enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.

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