Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Newborn King

This is my new grand niece, Amelia Josephine, born two just two weeks before this picture was taken.  I had the privilege of spending her very first Christmas with her along with lots of extended family.  We spent most of our holiday time ooing and ahhing over her tiny perfection and watching her 22-month-old brother do cute things.

As I held little Amelia in my arms, I was struck by the reality—THE REALITY-- that Christ was born to us as a baby--A BABY!  At this time of year, we read and sing of this fact often;

"You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." 
   "The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head." 
"Holy infant so tender and mild" 
 "Glory to the newborn King"

But do we truly understand what Christ did for us by becoming utterly helpless?  Do we comprehend how He left His place in Heaven and confined Himself in skin?  Do we grasp how our most powerful God allowed Himself to sleep silently in an animal trough?  Can we truly fathom that the same voice that created the entire universe now limited Himself to a feeble cry?

It’s absurd, really.  A limitless, ageless God chose to intersect time and space and become a limited, time-bound man; and not just a man, a baby; tiny, helpless, poor.

So why did He do it?  God saw His children needed Him.  Yet, because of their sins, there was no way they could get to Him.  So He became one of them, and He lived among them to save them and bring them close again.  Not only did He live with them; He loved them; and He died for them…and in their place.  And then He rose again—conquering death, their greatest foe. 

He chose to enter the world in a way that none expected; not as a king; wearing extravagant robes and sitting on a royal throne, but as a baby; swaddled with strips of tattered cloth and lying in a hay-filled manger.  Our mighty, strong, omniscient God chose to come to us in the most unthinkable form, wrapped in skin and humility; a tiny newborn babe.

Just like little Amelia.  Just for little Amelia.  And just for you too.

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
~Matthew 1:21

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