Read Luke 1
Focus on verse 8-9
Fifteen years ago on the eleventh day of September 2001 the sun rose on New York City just like any ordinary day. Across the nation of America people were preparing for another ordinary Tuesday as they always did. I will never forget arriving at work that morning in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. As I opened the door to enter the building, a co-worker came storming out, eyes wide with fear as he said to me “We are under attack!” At first I thought he was joking, but it turned out he was not. I too went home and watched in horror on our small television as the twin towers in New York were reduced to a pile of rubble claiming the lives of nearly three thousand people – people who that morning had gone to work like it was an ordinary day – unaware that they would not be returning home that evening. This day, which began as an ordinary day, forever changed the landscape and culture of our nation.
Today we begin the Gospel of Luke in which Luke describes how a priest named Zechariah, who was on duty at the temple, began what appeared to be an ordinary day.
Now while he (Zechariah) was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. (v. 8-9)
On and ordinary day, he would have gone in, burned some incense, done his duty, and come out again. What Zechariah was not aware of, was that this day would change not only His life forever, but that this was the beginning of a chain of events that would change the world like no other event in human history.
The angel Gabriel was waiting for him on the right side of the altar with an announcement that Zechariah’s wife was to have a son in answer to decades of prayer. Not only was his wife Elizabeth going to have a baby in her old age, but this was to be a special child who would prepare the way for another child who would be born to a virgin about six months after Zechariah’s child was to be born.
As I look back on my life so far, I have lived mostly “ordinary days”. I get up take a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, or school or if it’s a weekend tackle a list of house chores, at the end of the day, I read a chapter and write another entry in this blog and then I go to sleep. Most days are like that, and I’m okay with that. I’d just as soon not wake up one morning to another 9/11 like experience, but statistically, the odds are that occasionally we all will encounter some crisis that will change the course of our life in some way. Until we get used to the “new normal” that follows – we will have to find ways cope with the fact that life will never be as it was. Interestingly there are times when the new normal turns out to be better than the old normal ever could have been if the event that brought it about had not occurred.
The cool thing about following Jesus is that every day is a new day, and with Him every day has the potential to be a special day just because He made it. If we turn it into an ordinary day, perhaps that is our loss because we missed an opportunity to make it special.