Incredibly Ordinary. Deeply Faithful.
Like millions of people around the world I’m a fan of Pope Francis. I don’t think that in my lifetime I’ve seen a leader ignite passion and unify hearts in as short a period of time as this Pope. And as I watched the news coverage from his recent trip to the U.S. I kept asking myself why. What is it about this Pope that’s different? Why have so many people reacted so positively to him?
The Pope’s message of non-judgment, inclusivity and peace is certainly appealing, but I think it’s more than that. In fact, I think it comes down to two things. First, Pope Francis is an incredibly ordinary man. He’s humble, simple and approachable. Sounds a lot like Jesus, doesn’t it? Second, Pope Francis exudes deep faith. The more I watch him the more I get the sense that he’s spent a lot of time with Jesus. He seems to sense the presence and power of the Spirit in his own life and the world around him. And God is using Pope Francis to change the course of the Roman Catholic Church, and the world. Incredibly ordinary and deeply faithful.
Reminds me a lot of Moses. Moses was incredibly ordinary. In fact, when God called him, Moses was a simple shepherd. But Moses was also deeply faithful. Sure, he struggled with doubts and fears (that’s part of being incredibly ordinary), but his story reveals a man who had a deep trust in the One who called him from a burning bush. And God used Moses to change the course of the Israelite nation, and the world. Incredibly ordinary and deeply faithful.
Could you dare to believe that that’s your story, too? Could you dare to believe that God could call an incredibly ordinary human being like you and use you to impact the lives of others, maybe even change the world? You’re already incredibly ordinary. How’s your faith in the extraordinary God whose Spirit fills our lives and the world around us?
Incredibly ordinary and deeply faithful. That’s Pope Francis’ story. That’s Moses’ story. Let it be your story too. Keep your heart open to how God might call you to serve this week. Then take a step of faith and do it, trusting like Pope Francis and Moses that it’s God at work through you.
Jeff Marian is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN