Saturday, December 22, 2012

Away in a Manger

"Savior of the nations come!
Virgin’s Son, make here Thy home.
Marvel now, O heav’n and earth
that the LORD chose such a birth.
For You are the Father's Son
Who in flesh the vic'try won.
By Your mighty pow'r make whole
all our ills of flesh and soul."
“Savior of the Nations Come”
by St. Ambrose
Italy, 4th century

God very rarely does things the way we expect Him to. Everyone thought the Messiah was supposed to be a king: a powerful political figure who would crush the unjust with his heel and rain fire from heaven in His wrath against the wicked, right? I mean, that's the Messiah I'd want.

But the Messiah was actually a poor boy born in a stable where animals lived. He was born to a carpenter and his young wife. Not even middle class. Poor. The Son of God chose a life of poverty meant for a common man. And then, as if that wasn't enough, He chose a death of suffering meant for a common thief. No pomp, no circumstance, just the Son of God and His love for you.

We got it wrong. The Messiah’s power isn't in His glory. It's in His weakness, the weakness He willingly chose, an incredible weakness that saved the world. We wanted a Messiah who would kill for us. Instead, we got one who died for us. Marvel that the Son of God ever lay in a manger. Marvel that He chose to die on a cross. Marvel at His love for you.

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:5-8

**I couldn't find a recording of "Savior of the Nations Come" to share with you, so I shared "Away in a Manger." It makes a similar point.

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