And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

Celebrating God in the Neighborhood

Sunday Scripture

Using the lens of what C.S. Lewis called “the baptized imagination,” I try to picture what it must have been like for Jesus’s brothers to sit around the breakfast table or to do weekend chores with a sinless sibling. After John, the Gospel writer, had opened his own lens wide enough to take in Christ’s presence at the creation of all things, he spent the rest of his word count describing the teaching and the deeds that filled Jesus’s days as he “dwelt among us.”

We know there were days when friends let him down, when beloved people died, and when he simply did not have enough rest, food, time, cash, or fill-in-the-blank with your own scarce resource of choice. We know this is true, because Jesus had “moved into the neighborhood,” and scarcity is a characteristic of this neighborhood called planet Earth.

Never is scarcity more evident than during the frenzied season of Christmas. We over-schedule, over-spend, and over-extend ourselves all in the name of celebration, and yet the truth is that God-With-Us, Emmanuel, continues to “dwell among us” even as we make poor choices in our celebration of the gift of his presence.

In her Advent poem Descent, Luci Shaw describes the complete other-ness of Jesus’s arrival here:

Down he came from up

and in from out,

and here from there.

A long leap, an incandescent fall

from magnificent

to naked, frail, small…”

Committed to the Father’s plan to wrap this world in redemption, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Celebrating the mystery,

Michele Morin

If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular content delivered to your inbox. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.

Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash

50 thoughts on “Celebrating God in the Neighborhood”

  1. A beautiful reflection, Michele. “Jesus moved into the neighborhood”. Indeed, and I am so grateful He did! Blessings!


  2. Beautiful poetic words. Have you ever heard the song How Many Kings by a band called Downhere? It’s a beautiful song that includes lyrics similar to your post today. By the way, I have that same nativity scene. I haven’t put it up yet….but your post has inspired me to find a place for it.


  3. I can’t fully comprehend the enormity of what Jesus did for us, for me. God come in the flesh. So incomprehensible in many ways. So mind boggling. So wonderful!


  4. Eugene Peterson had such a gift for clever turns-of-phrases to bring scripture to life. ‘Couldn’t help but smile the first time I read “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 MSG). Now you made me smile today, Michele, thinking about eating meals, doing chores, etc. with a perfect sibling. And what must it have been like for Jesus, as they probably complained about him, whined about favoritism, and teased him. Even home was surely a challenge–much less the neighborhood/world. Thank you for always stretching our imaginations and challenging our thinking, Michele!


  5. I honestly cannot imagine what that picture would have looked like in the home between Jesus and His earthly siblings. Great thoughts, Michele. Thank you!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!


    1. I found it in Dorothy Greco’s Making Marriage Beautiful, and she referenced a collection by Sarah Arthur. I can’t find it in any of my books, and I think I’ve got most of everything she’s written, so I’m very curious about the origin story.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so hard to wrap our brains around, this idea of who God is and all He’s done. I spend so much mental energy trying to understand, but the understanding is never the goal. The goal is the pressing in, the leaning into the Father in all we do.


  7. We’re neighbors at Sue’s linkup today! Can you imagine the sibling rivalry in the Joseph & Mary household? Sinless Jesus and his ragamuffin siblings. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during some “he said, she said” moments!!!!!


  8. That must have been tough having a sinless sibling! I never really thought about it from that perspective. I’d have to give up my perfectionistic tendencies for sure. Thanks for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.