Most years, during the Christmas season, the Holy Spirit will highlight a particular lyric from a Christmas hymn that becomes my meditation throughout Christmas. This year, the Lord emphasized a lyric from Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Mild He lays His glory by; Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth; Born to give them second birth Hark the herald angel sing; Glory to the newborn King
One of my favorite questions to ask God is “Why?” I want to know His reason and His motive. When I read the bible, I find that this is the question I am always asking the Lord. His ways are so peculiar to me. I don’t naturally understand them. Often, I think there could have been a much less difficult way for the Lord to accomplish His will. To me, it is as though God has never heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” I know that the wisdom of God does not come natural to us, and this is why I am always asking “why?” He chose to come as a man, and I find it almost disturbing at times. Wasn’t there an easier means to the same end?
Humility is very important to God. More often than not, when I ask the Lord the big ‘why’ question, He answers by revealing His character of humility. I see this theme not only in what is taught in Proverbs, or in James, or by the apostles. I am beginning to see the humility of God in creation, in the law and the prophets, and in my own encounters with Him. Humility is not an easy thing to grasp.
As someone with a bit of a ‘justice complex’, I sometimes find it offensive that God would lay aside His glory so that murderers, drunkards, and unjust people might find everlasting life. The Lord is a just God, but His justice is perfectly mixed with mercy and humility. While I understand that my own sin and failures condemn me in the same manner as the sin of a drunkard, you may agree with the fact that many of us believe our sin isn’t as bad as someone else’s. I would never say it, but I think that way sometimes.
God doesn’t think that way. Even though He is without sin, He chose to come as a man and thus experience every temptation. He met us on our level and has shown us what it means to live life to the full.
And yet the Lord is still holy. He is different from us, but He thankfully gave us the mind of Christ through the revelatory power of the Holy Spirit. When I gaze upon His humility… (I often do this by meditating and thinking upon His kindness toward mankind), I realize just how proud I can actually be. Was it not the kindness of God that led me to repentance? If He led me to Him in that manner, should I not extend that same kindness to others?
Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people these days, but for me it is a celebration of God’s humility. Through Christ’s humility, we see the beauty of God on display as the one who labors to draw all of mankind unto Himself. He ‘lays His glory by’ that we may look upon Him and see the wondrous tenacity of our God, who does not allow mankind to die without the opportunity to repent and draw near to Himself. His love for us nullifies the wages of sin, that is, for those who receive love and grace of Jesus Christ.
He was ‘born that man no more may die’. Jesus’ life was a grand statement, a word from heaven sent directly from the Father. He gave His beloved Son, with whom He is well pleased, so that we might receive Him and also become pleasing to God. If you have received Christ, you have received the pleasure of God. He is pleased with you, and you will never face eternal death and separation from Him.
Let us reflect upon Christ’s humility and respond in word and deed. Let us extend the mercies and pleasure of God to others by giving them the great testimony of Jesus Christ. His word, when preached with kindness and urgency, is powerful and effective. We need not a great talent or eloquence, but we do need kindness and humility. This generation has seen every battle line of society drawn. I am not against the battle, but I am against waging it with a calloused heart that has already decided our enemies fate. Beloved, that belongs to Christ alone.
Let us be faithful stewards of the Word that was so freely given to us. The whole purpose of celebrating Christmas is to reflect and be thankful for the Word of God which dwelt with man. In a culture that celebrates Christmas from Thanksgiving till New Year’s Day, I dare say there is no better time to trumpet the great name of Jesus Christ.
As freely as you have been given, so freely give. He was born that man no more may die.
-J. S. Marek