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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The God of the Mundane: A Book Review

I left work for the Christmas break armed with gifts of chocolate from students and boxes of files.  I brought home work for the Christmas break – a lot of it. With the California state budget being what it is, we have fewer school days this year than usual, but no less work to get done.  I've never mixed Advent with Avery files, but this year, I have no choice.  So here we sit, these student records and I, trying to stay in the spirit.  It’s all very…mundane.

Our lives are largely like that, though, aren't they?  For most of us, life is a day-in-day-out cycle of the ordinary.  Is there God in the ordinary, in the mundane? Does he care about our work-a-day lives? Does he value them? That is the question that former Protestant pastor Matt Redmond asks in The God Of The Mundane .

As Christians, we often display a tendency to elevate those who do the extraordinary. It is well that we should. Exceptional clergy, missionaries, and Saints -- for adherents of traditions that recognize them, can provide examples for us to follow. It is the godliness that is the genesis of their actions that we should emulate though – not necessarily the particular actions themselves. Many of us have a different vocation than those that we place our focus upon. Godliness in the lives of the everyday lay person might bear different fruit.

In this slim volume, Matt Redmond presents us with the case for being ordinary. He leaves us recharged with the knowledge that the changing of diapers, the folding of laundry and the pushing of pens upon weekday desks mean something – and may even be the whole point. He assures us that God is in the mundane and that we, immersed in the seemingly insignificant, can be Jesus to the world.

I oftentimes make disclaimers regarding the books that I choose to review.  “This is not a ‘beach book,” I might write.  The God Of The Mundane requires no such qualifier.  It is every person’s book, with a message of use to every person.

May God bless you as you strive to live out your own vocation.
Know that you are valued and loved by Him.

Pax Christi dear ones,

This book was an Advance Review Copy (ARC) sent by the publisher — common practice in the industry. No payment was accepted in exchange for a review or mention, and the reviewer was in no way obligated to review the book favorably.

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