I subscribed to an Advent e-mail newsletter and I'm enjoying it so far! Yesterday's entry really resonated with and encouraged me:
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (I Thessalonians 4:11-12).
In this season of Advent, we anticipate commemorating the birth of Jesus, the infinite, Almighty God becoming a small, helpless baby. When we think of Jesus, we often focus on his divinity, and on his divine mission of redemption which restores our peace with God. But this season reminds us that the God-man came into the world in the ordinary way, and grew in wisdom and stature in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52) in the ordinary way. He reminds us that living an ordinary life to the glory of God is a worthy ambition.
Our society worships celebrity. Our society worships material success. A poll of young people found that over 40% would rather be a personal assistant to a celebrity than the CEO of a major corporation, the president of Yale or Harvard or a U.S. senator. Sometimes we Christians can also get caught up in this focus on celebrity and material success. But Paul says here that living an ordinary life to the glory of God and doing our work with integrity is pleasing to God. The God-man himself spent most of his life living an ordinary life to the glory of God, starting with his birth.