If you were to choose one word to describe Christmas in all of its glory, what would that word be? 


There is so much about this season that is magnificent. Our decorations. Our recipes. Our outfits. Magnificent. And those are just the commercial aspects of this season.

The very thing we celebrate this time of year – that God came to earth as a human in order to rescue us from our sin, to offer us an abundant life both now and forever, one that is extended to you and I by the God of the universe because of his love for us?


Listen to how Luke describes this magnificent moment in chapter 2 of his gospel:

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

I mean, if you were going to write a script for a movie that would leave viewers in awe of what was happening, THIS is how you would write it!

Can you imagine? A few dudes out in the wilderness tending to their sheep, probably talking about things like the current state of their fantasy slingshot league, their recent encounters with wild animals made out to be more significant that they probably were, and having rock-lifting competitions to demonstrate their physical prowess – and all of a sudden, a being appears out of nowhere, radiating the brightest light possible and delivers a message about a super baby being born in some tiny town that was going to save the world. Is that not magnificent?!?

two students reaching towards snowflakes

And yet …

One of the things I love most about the story of how God showed up in the world is how utterly mundane it is.

Consider this for a moment: If you were to plan something as magnificent as this, wouldn’t you want to also make sure the entire setting was magnificent?

I imagine the shepherds looking at one another, questioning the angelic message. Some random home in some tiny town? A Savior? In a manger? 

Jesus being born in some relative’s house where there were likely many of Joseph’s extended family also staying, taking naps in a manger, being described as being wrapped in literal strips of cloth like any other baby.

Not some palace? Not the finest blankets and bedding for this king? 

Apparently not. But why?

I think part of the reason lies in the fact that there is magnificence in the mundane.

child looking up at snowflakes

Why does this matter? 

We are a people conditioned to believe that it’s only in the magnificent moments, in outlandish opulency, in garish grandiosity, that we find the most meaning.

But life with God, the very essence of being able to experience Jesus’ love for us, is more often found in the mundane.

While we are looking for and waiting for the ecstatic moments that seem to be so few and far between, Jesus is present in the smallest moments of our lives, and we are missing it.

Jesus, who asked us to ponder lilies, to have faith like children, to wash each other’s feet – all seemingly mundane activities – can be found, must be found, in the mundane.

If we don’t think Jesus is at work in the mundane, we are going to miss the life Jesus is inviting us into.

But ... if we can begin to believe that the magnificent is in the mundane, then we will, like the shepherds, find the Savior. And finding the Savior, we will, like the shepherds, be unable to keep the good news to ourselves:

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

In all of the great glory of this Christmas season, my hope and prayer is that you will have your eyes opened to the  magnificence of the mundane, my friends. 

Because it is there you will find Jesus. Amen.

Watch video: A Christmas message from our University Pastor

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