During the month of December at actionchurch, we are discussing the story of the Birth of Jesus looking through the lens of God being “Excelsis Deo” or God in the Highest. If I were a “smarter” preacher, I might call this and “incarnational” sermon series. (But…if I were a “smarter” preacher, we probably would not have had so much fun Sunday with our tacky Christmas decorations, Santa Cog, and Justin Bieber Christmas tunes. :-) )
Whatever you choose to call the miracle of the Most High God humbling himself to appear on earth in a filthy manger, the Christmas story is most assuredly about God making a dramatic statement through the birth of Jesus. One of the clearest explanations of this great mystery is found in the Eugene Peterson paraphrase of John 1:14:
The Word (Jesus)became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
John 1:14 (The Message)
God became human like us and moved into our neighborhood. Our greatest response…our most powerful display of gratitude to God for Jesus…is to become like Jesus in OUR neighborhood each day. Our life-work as Christians must be to live out the example of Excelsis Deo.