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The Wonder Of The Ordinary

Daily Devotional for Monday, October 19, 2020 from Jonathan Moelker


John 14:8-11

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.

Philip’s question is deceptively simple, but he is so focused on what he thinks God should be that he is missing what is right in front of him, Jesus.  The Gospel of John is the most clear about Jesus’s identity, not only as the messiah, but as God.  But even with this clarity of the text, the disciples do not understand.  Philip says that, if he sees the father, he will be satisfied.  Philip wants just one more thing to be sure of how he should live in faith.  The problem is, this is after he has been with Jesus throughout his preaching and performing miracles.  What more does he need?!

We get so easily accustomed to what is around us.  When we look for miracles, we look for things that are unusual, out of the ordinary.  When we look for God, we look for the most incredible parts of our world.  What we forget is that all of this world is God’s.  Each person we meet is also God’s.  And we, the Church, are the body of Christ.

These are things we are all accustomed to.  They are “normal”.  We see flowers and friends.  We watch our church services.  But sometimes we wonder, “if only I could have actually seen Jesus, when he was alive. Then I would be satisfied.  Then I would understand.”  Philip thought the same thing, but he was actually with Jesus at the same time!  And we, even as we think it, are in the presence of the Holy Spirit!  We wish to see God, not recognizing that God is right in front of us.

The holiness of the world feels covered up by its ordinariness.  But the beauty of all that God has created is our ordinary.  Trees, clouds, little bugs, all of these things are incredible.  So far as we can tell, these things are unique in the universe.  Jesus did many ordinary things.  The gospels recount him eating meals again and again.  Is there any more ordinary act?  But with Jesus, the ordinary is also incredible.  In our ordinary lives, we live alongside each other as the body of Christ, joined with the Holy Spirit.  Although much of our lives fall into ordinary patterns, they too are incredible.


Lord,

Remind us of the wonder of our ordinary world.
Show us the beauty of bread, the satisfaction of a meal together.
Remind us of your presence surrounding us.
 
As we grow up, we forget how amazing the world is.
The revelations that amaze a child are old news to us.
But you, Lord, are always amazing.
Remain before our eyes,
So we continue to look forward with delight,
Knowing we are looking upon your face.

Amen.

About the Author
Jonathan is the Assistant to the Pastor at NHPC. He stumbled into New Hanover Presbyterian while he was doing his church internship for seminary and loved it from the first minute. He recently finished his Masters of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary and is currently working on his Masters of Theology at that same institution. Before he discerned a call into ministry, Jonathan completed his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee and still tries to watch whenever the Vols play. In addition to the church, Jonathan spends his time as a runner and a reader of fiction.