When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. (Isaiah 64:3)
The use of the word “awesome” is interesting. It means something like “awe-inspiring” or “magnificent,” but since the 1990s, it has had a much more casual meaning that essentially amounts to “good,” which is quite a bit less impressive than “magnificent.”
“Becky, your Lean Cuisine is done cooking in the microwave.”
Nothing about my Lean Cuisine is actually awesome, by the way. But it gets the job done at lunch time.
When God’s people look for awesome deeds, we may be tempted to look up, searching the sky for celestial wonders or an awe-inspiring sunset. We may be tempted to search for something powerful and dazzling. I would imagine this has always been true.
And yet God’s awesome deeds often come unexpectedly, in unexpected circumstances in unexpected places.
During a quiet night in the middle of tumultuous political times while shepherds kept their flocks. In a manger in the middle of nowhere attended by the most ordinary of people and their livestock. With the Son of God coming to earth in the most unlikely circumstances, at least it must have seemed.
The most awesome of deeds. The most holy of nights. Yet only noticed by a few at the time.
May we learn to look for God at work in places we would not normally expect.