Every time I tried to change the title of this article the Lord impressed upon me that He desired this title for a reason. I hesitated because I never would have put the word “simple” in front of our Savior.
In the world, the word “simple” is a kind way of saying someone is ignorant or dumb, which was my reason for hesitation. Looking through the eyes of the Savior, “simple” takes on a whole new meaning.
Looking back in my childhood, I loved to sit in front of the lights and stare at the stable without Jesus present, anticipating the day when I or someone in my family could gently place baby Jesus in His rightful spot. Why did this simple act give me so much joy? As a child, I didn’t understand the depth of Christ’s birth. It was a mysterious joy that always enveloped me.
Now, as an adult, I contemplate the wonder of the Word becoming flesh. The thought that the Creator of the Universe who knows everything, is everything and we cannot add anything to His greatness, humbled himself and became one of us is really so hard to comprehend yet so simple. What better way to help your children then to become like them.
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords didn’t enter the world in grandeur. His place of birth wasn’t sterilized. There was no electric blanket to keep him warm. Instead, He chose the warmth of His mother’s arms surrounded by animals that He created. The King chose simplicity from the moment He was born.
Don’t confuse comfort with simplicity. This world has it all backwards. Oh, I have to buy this gadget because it will make it so much easier to clean my floor. I can’t wait to try out this new mattress with the thick pillow top. Now I can sleep longer. I can go on and on about the comforts we have in this world. Yet do they really make our life simpler or do they complicate it?
I just baked a cake, now I have to clean the dishes. I clean the mixer with all its parts. Don’t forget the nut chopper, the egg separator, the whisk, and the list goes on and on. You see my point here.
The life of the Holy Family was very simple even though they had many sufferings and hardships. When Jesus was only about 9 days old, his life was already in peril. Herod decided to kill all baby boys up to two years old. They had to flee to Egypt in order to avoid the slaughter of the innocents which greatly troubled Mary and Joseph. This same slaughter goes on in our days but we disguise it with words like it’s a woman’s choice.
Our Lord subjected Himself to human parents that He created to nurture and teach Him. Why? Could you just imagine being all knowing and all powerful, listening attentively to the words of His Mother and Foster Father!! He never once rolled his eyes in disgust, saying “I know” with a smirky voice. What humility and obedience Our Lord had!! How many times have I rolled my eyes when someone has told me something that I already knew!! Simple obedience is what the Savior wanted to instill in all of us.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.q
And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.r Luke 2:51-52.
As He grew, Jesus took on the simple life of a carpenter’s son. St Joseph taught him the trade and both of them worked side-by-side. Mary took on her role as wife and mother always putting Jesus and Joseph first. She was never bored. She didn’t have to pamper herself with watching TV and eating excessively. She was busy from morning until night taking care of her little family. She didn’t have a grocery store to run to when it was time to make dinner. If she wanted milk, she had to go milk the cow, If she needed water, she had to walk down to the well and get some. Yet doing all of these things gave her great joy.
As I sit and contemplate, I look at my life and the amount of joy that it gives me now that Jesus healed me. I am busy from morning until night in a way that I would have never imagined. Of course, you can think that it is my healing that gives me so much joy. Yes, that is a good portion of it, but God has shown me how life can be so simple by just doing basic tasks.
For example, we have twenty chickens. We have to feed and water them, clean their coop etc, but they give in return. We have eggs to eat and sell. The more I give my time for the benefit of others, yes, even chickens, the more joy I receive. Life is simple this way because you are not expecting anything when you give yourself away. In return, God showers His graces upon you and fills you with joy.
Brothers and sisters, its time to simplify our lives. It’s time to serve and not self-serve. It’s time to work hard to grow a garden and really appreciate the yield it gives you. Simplicity gives you time to live in peace and love more. It’s time to love your family and all those that you meet.
Yes, it’s time to be like our Simple Savior.
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with the simplicity and sincerity of God, [and] not by human wisdom but by the grace of God.
2 Corinthians 1:12