Was reflecting this morning on the life of Jesus. Being Christmas, we are focused on his birth; his advent from the presence of God to earth; his beginning as a child of poor parents. All this is definitely worthy of reflection - the wonder of it is beyond comprehension.
What entered my mind as I was thinking of his birth, was his life. He lived thirty years of life before he started his public ministry. He grew up with his brothers and sisters, probably went to the local school (synagogue), helped his dad out with chores around the house, washed dishes with his mom - grew up as a kid. Yes, there is one "breakout" that are recorded about his childhood (his parents leaving him in Jerusalem at a feast and him reasoning with those in the temple), but other than that, we don't have much.
It appears that he was quite a student. He was referred to as "teacher" a few times in his public ministry and was even allowed to read in the synagogue on a Sabbath (usually reserved for traveling rabbis). Not much else is known or recorded about his life - which means to me that it was pretty ordinary as lives go.
Thirty years. Thirty years of growing in favor with God and man. Thirty years of walking in obedience. Thirty years of learning more about his Father in heaven. Thirty years of understanding how to listen to the Spirit of God and follow. Thirty years of dealing with bullies, talking to hurting people, playing with his friends, listening and counseling to his neighbors, teaching the younger kids around him about God - living life.
And then. And then there was a break out. And then he started his public ministry which lasted less than three years. Thirty years of growing up; thirty years of investment and then a few short months of ministry. (Mind you the most important ministry in the world, as humanity hung in the balance.....)
The ordinariness of Jesus life, the obedience year after year, the growing in faith and knowledge - struck me. So often I separate normal life and ministry. So often I look for that "one big thing" that I am to do with my life and I look over the preparation. I believe that I am, that we, are being prepared for ministry (think Esther....). Perhaps it will be a huge "break out", perhaps it will a point in time when someone crosses our path that needs us to minister to them: I don't know what it will be. However, I do know several things:
1. It will happen. We have been commanded to minister and the opportunities will present themselves.
2. It probably will not happen on my time frame (especially mine because I am impatient).
3. I need to be ready when it comes.
4. I need to be watching, no intently looking, for opportunities and seize them when they come.
5. I need to be about the work of preparation - KNOWING that an opportunity to minister is going to come.