The Mundane and The Glorious


“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2:13-14, NIV).


Some time ago, we lost one of our two birds. Apparently he ingeniously, and tragically, learned how to get out of his cage on his own. A neighbor cat was waiting in the wings. The rest is history.

When my daughter Ester learned the news, she made an insightful remark. “I wish I could somehow get into their world. Somehow become one of them. Somehow speak their language – so I could teach them. Tell them things like, ‘Honey, now don’t bite the hand that feeds you. That’s not nice. And stay in your cage. It’s safe in there.’”

I looked at her thoughtfully and observed, “That’s what Christmas is about. That’s exactly what Jesus did, when He became a human.”

Now, I fully recognize that the Christmas story is so much more grand and glorious than our family musings about a couple of parakeets. However, there’s something here, if you lean in closely to listen. In the Bethlehem tale, I see a majestic juxtaposition of opposite elements. In that stable among the lowing of cattle, the grand and glorious met the mundane.

This is why I’ve chosen the above Scripture for today. It illustrates this truth magnificently. See, here are those two contrasting elements:

  • The grand and glorious: “God in the highest.”
  • The mundane: “On earth… men.”

The Holy One who inhabits eternity saw us far, far below. He saw us sitting in darkness. He saw us aching. He saw us altogether helpless without Him. He saw us, wrapped up in the filthy rags of our own “righteousness,” unable to lift a finger to rescue ourselves. So He came all the way down.

He became one of us. He wanted to speak our own language, so He could communicate with us at our own level. He wanted to become itty bitty like us… so He could show us His way to life in a way we could wrap our diminutive minds around. Therefore, He squeezed the immensity of His grand and glorious being into an embryo. He slipped unpretentiously into our world.

The narrative begins with the mundane: Simple shepherds huddling with their flocks in a dusty field. Avoiding sheep droppings as they make their rounds. The smell of earth, of animals, of bodies needing to be bathed. Quiet nighttime noises. Wind in the leaves.

The grand and glorious breaks in: A brilliant angel of the Lord suddenly appears in the midst of this utterly banal scene. “Behold I proclaim good tidings of great joy!Glory fills the atmosphere. The heavens light up blindingly as a host of angelic heralds explosively trumpet the jubilant news!

‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!’”

Simple ones. Lowly ones. Favored ones. A Savior is born to you. He is here. He has come into your world.


How has Jesus met you, personally, on your level? In what practical ways has He spoken  your heart’s language?

7 thoughts on “The Mundane and The Glorious

  1. Amen! Jennifer, your discussion shares the mystery and wonder of Bethlehem’s stable in a way that awakens to meet once again. This story will never grow old as it is as fresh as newly fallen snow. During Advent, I focus on the hope, peace, joy, and love that fills my morning devotionals as well as some of my writing. Here, once again, I meet Jesus, up close and personal. Blessings to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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