Sometimes the most extraordinary things happen in the most ordinary places. Two thousand years ago, in a very common setting, a shepherd’s field, angels proclaimed “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” ( Luke 2:10). That holy message of heavenly hosts was delivered not to the pompous or the powerful but to a group of lowly shepherds watching over their flocks by night. It would lead them not to a majestic hall but rather to a lowly manger. The events of that night, so unlike any night before or since, remind us to look for greatness in the common place.
Observe any family or neighborhood, and you will find that the most precious moments usually take place during day-to-day living; a sister helps her younger siblings with homework, a mother tenderly cares for a sick child, a father plays catch with his son, a widow invites friends to her home, a neighbor shovels the snow, a teacher explains a concept at a child’s desk. These events are not to be ignored or diminished just because they seem small or ordinary. They are meaningful in the most profound way, and yet they are cloaked in the commonplace, the everyday.
To see and appreciate these happenings, we need to open our eyes and hearts. We may not hear angels sing or see a new star in the heavens, but we can sense in our souls when something significant is happening. When we do, we will find that these are not ordinary events at all. They are the stuff of which miracles are made; they are heavenly proclamations of hope. We need only remember that a king can be born in a stable, shepherds can receive heavenly messengers, and a bright new star can shine on dark and lonely nights.