“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, good will toward all people,” sang the angels. — Luke 2:14
I am currently in Vancouver celebrating Christmas with my wife’s side of the family – every other year we travel to Canada for Christmas.
I won’t deny it: CBC’s Lessons and Carols is a phenomenal moment in the annual rhythm of my church life; and I’m sad to miss it. The years that I’m not in Canada, I participate in the Christmas Eve service through the choir. Christmas Eve may be the only time the choir stands above the congregation singing “Once in Royal David’s City” and feels … angelic. However, in this post, there’s much more to discuss than being slightly elevated above the congregation, or even the angels singing to the shepherds from the realms of glory. It’s time to wonder at The Glory in the Highest Himself.
The Highest seems rather vague, but it’s not a measurable distance between us (lowest) and God, rather an understanding that God is Highest because He is complete in Himself. And if this is the case, He has no need of anything for He simply is (“I Am”). We’re pushing into the esoteric, but there’s no better time to ‘wonder as we wander’ through Christmas!
I know God loves me because he didn’t need to make me, He didn’t need to step into time and come to us – God can not possibly become something greater because of what He did for us nor is there anything we can do that will make Him something less. He is the Glory.
The Highest seems very distant and foreign, but this is the starting point of knowing how much He loves us – He didn’t need to come as Jesus. Yet here we are, celebrating Christmas, the moment of salvation where God revealed Himself like He never had before to the likes of Abraham, Moses, or the prophets. The Highest has shown good will towards us.
I like the phrase “good will” because its more precise than the much-used word, “love.” Good will is a power to execute good intent. And in the completeness of His infinite love, He reveals the extent of His awesome power by becoming unknown, almost incognito on earth (that’s how complete He was in himself). His Good Will comes to you today and lets you approach the stable, or not!
What great dignity has He offered us these last two thousand years where we are faced with Him being born in Bethlehem every year, and are left with a question only we can answer –Has he been born in our heart?
Christmas. The Highest is the Lowest and loves you, loves you, loves you!
Written by Philip Martens - Website
Philip Martens has lived in Phoenix for twenty years, but grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Raised in a Christian environment (family, church, school), he desired a relationship with Christ at the age of six and was later baptized at thirteen. He graduated from ASU with degrees in History, Accountancy, and a Masters in Accountancy. His wife of 16 years, Susi, also hails from Canada; they have four children. He currently manages the US portfolio of a Canadian real estate investment trust. He has been a member of CBC since 1998.