As I was driving home from a Christmas party, the darkness of the night enveloped my car. I turned on Moody’s music through the night and the beloved carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, began.
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
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 angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
On one hand, this song should be song with excitement and spunk. I agree. On the other, I miss these words as I quickly pass over them to move to the chorus.
Mild He lays His glory by…
Noah Webster defines mild as: Tender and gentle in temper or disposition; kind; compassionate; merciful; clement; indulgent; not severe or cruel.
Slow down. Peaceful. In the midst of all the craziness, the mess, the parties, the stress, whatever is on your plate and remember. Stop. He laid His glory by.
Why did He do it? Why did He give it all up?
Born that man no more may die...
We nearly kill ourselves to purchase the gifts, make the cookies, get to all the parties, all for a season. For a period of time. For Christmas. In talking with a friend recently, I realized how much pressure, emphasis we place on this season. Scroll through your Facebook feed. Do you feel lonely yet? Or as if you cannot measure up? Good luck. Your friend from college is exhausted from her 10 Christmas parties. Your friend from high school has 20 pictures of her children and their homemade Christmas cookies they made together and handed out to the neighbors and homeless. Your friend had a lovely party…your invite must have gotten lost in the mail.
It’s two days.
Do we even remember what we are doing here? That first Christmas? Looked nothing like this explosion of today. On my way home, I enjoy the sites of Christmas lights, blow up Santa with his pants down saying Happy Holidays. My children and I are mooned by Santa every time we drive home.
Back up the truck. Mild He lay His glory by. We have lost sight. Okay, maybe just me, but I doubt it. When was the last time, we pondered Philippians 2:
6 ·Christ himself was like God in everything [L Who, being in the form of God].
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be ·used for his own benefit [or grasped; seized; held on to].
7 But he ·gave up his place with God and made himself nothing [L emptied himself].
He ·became like [L took the form of] a ·servant [slave; bondservant]
and was born ·as a man [L in the likeness of humanity/men].
8 And ·when he was living [L being found in appearance/likeness] as a ·man [human being],
he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God,
even ·when that caused his [to the point of] death—death on a cross.
He gave it all up. He did it for you. For me. He was born that man no more may die. We live rushing through life, rushing our families, our days, our schedules.
I purchased gifts for my family members this year, everyone except my husband. I never know what to get my favorite person in the world. The man who I love more than life itself…I just have no idea. Everyone else…no brainers. One of the greatest gifts I can give my Savior this year is the gift of remember. Pause. Stop. Jesus gave it all. Christmas means nothing if it is not celebrated in the shadow of the cross. Nothing. He isn’t meant to be celebrated as a baby.
He is to be worshiped as a King. A conqueror.
9 So God ·raised [exalted] him to the highest place.
God ·made his name [or gave him the name] ·greater than [far above] every other name
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11 And ·everyone [L every tongue] will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
and bring glory to God the Father.Philippians 2
When the shepherds visited the infant Jesus in the manger, they fell to the floor and worshiped. The angels transformed their night with news that changed their lives. They bowed their knees. They confessed Jesus as Lord. The dirty shepherds got the news before anyone else. Isn’t that grand? They were willing to listen.
Let’s not be too busy to listen this Christmas. Let’s find quiet this week. Let’s watch for his glory. And good grief, I need to avert my eyes. Santa, pull up your pants.