The news has changed dramatically in recent weeks.
The headlines are usually dominated by the powerful and famous, by political leaders and celebrities.
In recent days the news has brought us ordinary people – doctors and nurses, care-workers, bin men and teachers. People who could be our friends or family; ordinary people who are working with extra-ordinary compassion, resolve and sense of vocation.
We have seen ordinary people suffering. Bus drivers, midwives, children and elderly, share their common vulnerability as they have succumbed to coronavirus. Ordinary emotions – grief, anxiety, and helplessness are present alongside extra-ordinary strength, dedication and empowerment
The rich, famous and powerful have become to the ‘ordinary’ as they have become infected with the virus.
We can all identify with ordinary.
Jesus was an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life and came to ordinary people. Brought up in a family, learning a trade in a workshop, experiencing joy, disappointment, love and uncertainty were all very ordinary.
He associated with ordinary people – fishermen, civil servants, unemployed and unemployable. He went out of his way to meet the ordinary, the chronically sick, mothers and children, the religious, the rich and the beggars.
We can all identify with an ordinary Jesus.
And yet he was extraordinary as he taught his followers how to live, performed miracles and followed his vocation through to the bitter end. He was extraordinary in the way he faced suffering and showed compassion to all, even – especially – his enemies.
He is extraordinary in the way his influence is still felt today. It is extraordinary that the story of his death and resurrection is still remembered throughout the world – and still has dramatic life-changing effects on ordinary people – giving them the opportunity to become extraordinary like him.