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The Glory of Christ’s Birth December 24, 2006

Posted by larrylaz in Scripture Meditation.
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Joe,

Glad you liked the quote from Valley of Vision yesterday.  I definitely had the same thought that we should just leave that quote at the top because it is great!  But, maybe we’ll just have to post again, lest the blogging nation think we are lazy or something. 

Anyway, I thought it would be worthwhile to post this short reflection that I wrote some time ago on the Glory of Christ’s birth. This is one of 31 short reflections on the different characteristics of Christ’s glory which I called ‘Tasting His Fullness’. I hope this will stir hearts to marvel at the glorious condescencion of our great King.

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

Luke 2:4-7

It is not typical for royalty to travel in such humble, inconspicuous ways. Several years ago, Queen Elizabeth II visited the United States, and reporters went into lavish detail recording her traveling “entourage”. She brought four thousand pounds of luggage, including two outfits for every occasion, a mourning outfit in case someone died, forty pints of plasma, and white kid leather toilet seat covers. She brought along a personal hairdresser and two valets. A typical short visit of royalty can cost as much as twenty million dollars.

Jesus Christ is more majestic than any earthly king or queen has ever dreamed of. Yet the glory of this King is that He does not need to impress with a flashy “entourage”. When the Son of God, who is the King of kings, came to visit earth, He did so in the lowest, most humble way imaginable. When Mary went into labor, she and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem to register for a census, as per the decree of Caesar Augustus. There was no room for them in the inn, and so Mary was forced to lay her newborn son – the King of the Universe and the Savior of the world – in a feeding trough.

Such humble beginnings had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier by the prophet Isaiah. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6). Though the government rested upon His shoulder, the baby in Bethlehem had to rest in His mother’s bosom to be fed. Though He was (and is) the Wonderful Counselor, He had to learn the alphabet and addition and subtraction. Though He was the “Mighty God”, He was so small that a horse could have stepped on Him and killed Him.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father,” (John 1:14). The eternal Word – who was in the beginning with God, and was God, and through whom all things were made (John 1:1-3) – this Word clothed Himself with flesh and blood and dwelt among tax collectors and prostitutes and paralytics and sinners like you and me.

God became a baby, dependent on two teenagers for food, clothing and shelter. Yet at no point did the infant in the manger cease to be God. That is what the angel Gabriel had told Mary before she became pregnant: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God,” (Luke 1:35). And right after His birth, wise men from the east came to see the Miracle that had visited Bethlehem. When they saw the child, “They fell down and worshiped him,” (Matthew 2:11). Grown men worshiping a baby; how preposterous!

But Jesus of Nazareth was no ordinary baby. “For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:11). The next time you hear these words read on Christmas Eve, stand and wonder! The One who is so highly enthroned that He must condescend to behold even the things of heaven (Psalm 113:5-6), made Himself nothing and took the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:6-7). And He did all this so that hell-deserving sinners like you and me could enjoy His glory forever.

“Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh…” (1 Timothy 3:16):

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