Mary gets a lot of attention during the Christmas season. Interestingly enough, Mary is hardly a main character in the life and ministry of Jesus. Of all the times she’s mentioned in the Bible (which aren’t that many), she’s mentioned most during the story Jesus’s birth, which makes sense. She certainly played a crucial role in the life of our lord as his mother, but she hardly appears on the stage in the events recorded in the Gospels. Mary is a perfect example, then, of that fact that visibility doesn’t reflect importance. More specifically, is a great example of how mundane faithfulness changes the world.
God had a job needing done. He needed a virgin that could be the bearer of God incarnate. There’s no other job like this in the world. No one had over done this before. This idea was foreign to everyone. This meant that Mary would have great difficult defending her state or explaining it to family and friends. Thankfully, when we’re obedient to God and people judge us for it, we don’t ever have to defend ourselves. Furthermore, this job for Mary would mean being ridiculed, judged, unfairly critiqued, and even alienated. God knew that whoever was entrusted with this job would need to be firm in their faith. The person for this job needed to have two feet firmly established in their faith. He needed a solid, faithful saint that would not buckle under the pressure.
Can God entrust you with a job like that? In the same way that God had a special job just for Mary (and Joseph, and Paul, etc.), God has a special job for each of us. He has a job with our name on it. However, that job may require suffering. In fact, it probably does because that suffering leads to our holiness and God is much more concerned about our holiness than happiness. Furthermore, that job may mean that you don’t get much attention. It may be something that requires mundane faithfulness. People may even ridicule you for it, but what’s important is that we’re obedient. We answer to One.
Mary’s story reminds us that God is so big that he can use fundamental, everyday faithfulness to transform the world. We don’t need to have flashy ministries, big budgets, light shows and professional Christmas pageants (those are good too!). Our God is the God of the fish and the loaves. He makes big things with the obedience found in mundane faithfulness.

Matt Ayars

President of Wesley Biblical Seminary

3 Comments

Charles Lake · December 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Having a little trouble with your use of the word “mundane”. To me, Mary’s faithfulness
was anything but mundane. How great it would be if more of us exercised that degree
of faithfulness. I appreciate reading “teainsolitude”.

    Matt Ayars · December 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I see your point. The point that I’m making, however, is that Mary had to have been faithful in the fundamental activities (unexciting/mundane) of the day-to-day in order to be rooted in her faith as firmly as she was. In other words, it’s not so much excercising faith just in the exciting moments of life (not “mundane”) but faith even in the uninteresting, boring, mundane of life. This is a firm faith. Does that help?

Randi Schmid · December 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

As a mom, I greatly appreciate this. It’s hard sometimes to see the faith it takes to wash dishes or cook meals. But Pastor Charlie spoke something on this a few weeks ago. He asked how we would act if all of our good works went unnoticed and unthanked. That was really convicting to me because I have a few people who don’t always appreciate my cooking (especially involving tomatoes). But truly that’s a mother’s job – mundane work without thanks. It’s made me rethink my daily tasks of reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar 5 times in a row and wiping noses and doing dishes and teaching a baby to not touch or how to use a fork or helping with math homework. It’s not famous work and it’s definitely mundane (especially the math). But if I can humble my heart and remember that those things are glorifying to God – He’s given me these kiddos and this life and this is my task before me – then it’s for Him.

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