Friday, June 6, 2008

Redefining Ordinary Pt. II

God redefined the ordinary when he took bread and wine and made them the centerpiece of the Lord's Supper. He also made the act of dunking someone in a lake sacred. Probably pretty normal for Jewish boys and girls. We all bathe. As I discussed on earlier this week, throughout the life of Jesus he was constantly taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary. He took normal guys and instilled in them the stuff that would flip an Empire upside down. He made the mundane meaningful. He redefined ordinary.

During the same conversation that Kerra and I were having my mind began to wander a bit. For some reason I was reminded of a friend from High School who graduated, went off to a Christian school, helped start a Christian non-profit and now by the looks of his facebook does something with club promotion and scantily clad women. Maybe its a ministry to scantily clad women. They need Jesus too.

Regardless, it got me to thinking about all the students that have filtered in and out of ministries I've led or been a part of. How someone can be so fired up for the Lord at one moment and then on the opposite end of belief six months later. How someone can stand for so much and then seem to stand for nothing soon thereafter.

And then it all synced up for me. Maybe the problem is found in the ordinary moments rather than the extraordinary ones. What if the Lord's Supper had something to say about what's happened in my life, how Jesus took something ordinary and made it extraordinary yes, but also how Jesus redefined ordinary in my life.

I couldn't help but think about my perception of sex and sexuality growing up. I don't know exactly how this happened, but while many of my peers slept with whomever they pleased, abstinence was the most normal thing I could imagine. It never struck me as strange or bizarre, just a wise decision to make toward God and my future wife. I had seen sex screw up a lot marriages, so it was sort of a no brainer. Now was it difficult? Certainly. But ordinary. At some point in my life, abstinence before marriage had become the norm. God had redefined ordinary in my life. In fact, if you look at it from the right angle he took something extraordinary and made it very normal.

And that's it! The great epiphany that I've been thinking on all week long. My job as a follower of Jesus is to help redefine ordinary in the lives of people. To take the common and make it sacred. Yes. But also in some strange way to take the sacred and make it common. To help people find a new balance between poles. To challenge them to live extraordinary, fun-loving, outward focused, Jesus centered, dangerous and adventurous lives and to help that kind of life become the most normal kind of life they could imagine. Its about pushing the envelope. Raising the bar. And then helping people see that as normal. Its about following Jesus' example with his disciples, empowering them consistently to the point where flipping the world upside down after pentecost seemed like the most natural and most logical thing they could do. Making the ordinary extraordinary by making the extraordinary accessible and yes, ordinary.