Ordinary Holiness


is at the root

of praise.


is at the heart

of Christmas,

and not for one day only

but for each waking day.

At the heart

of Christ’s incarnation

is the truth

that God makes extraordinary things


in ordinary places,

that heaven and earth

        holy and earthly

        God and human

are intertwined.

The wonder of Christmas

desires to creep

into every living moment,

so that we behold

the glory of God.

The wonder of this holy day

points to the wonder in all days;

the wonder of the Bethlehem stable

teaches us to find

the wonder in all places;

the wonder of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus

leads to the wonder

in the faces of ordinary people.

(O Mary,



holy . . .)

Susan Palo Cherwien is a freelance writer and musician. She has written numerous hymn texts that appear in denominational hymnals in the United States and Canada. This poem is from the collection From Glory Into Glory: Reflections for Worship © 2009 MorningStar Music Publishers, product no. 90-42. Used by permission.

Reformed Worship 97 © September 2010, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.