It often seems that my Advent meditations center around a single idea – often something meaningful to my reflections on the past year. Sometimes they’re painful meditations. Sometimes they are joyous. Sometimes they are revelations. Sometimes they’re old truths.
from N. D. Wilson’s Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl:
“Plan the event. Arrange the reception. The King of kings is coming. He will shoulder governments. He will be called the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor…
“The Lord of all reality is coming to your hemisphere. And He, the pure Spirit, will take on flesh and need to eat and breathe and move His bowels, and have His diaper changed…
“He will be a carpenter, with splintered and blistered hands and cracking nails. One of His grandmothers was a whore of Jericho. He will enter the womb of a virgin and expand in the normal way. He will exit her womb in the normal way. And then she will suckle Him as the cows do their calves. Because, well, He will be mammal…
“The Lord came to clean the unclean. He brought the taint of Holiness, and it has been growing ever since. He was born in a barn and slept in a food trough. Maybe the livestock all took gentle knees, cognizant and pious, like the back page of a children’s Christmas book. Maybe they smacked on their cuts and continued to lift their tails and muck in the stalls.
“The angels knew what was going on even if no one else did. They grasped the bizarre reality of Shakespeare stepping onto the stage, of God making Himself vulnerable, dependent, and human–making Himself Adam. And so, in a more appropriate spirit, they arranged a concert and put on what was no doubt the greatest choral performance in planetary history.
“Were the kings gathered? Where were the people with the important hats? Where were the ushers, the corporate sponsors?
“The Heavenly Host, the souls and angels of stars, descended into our atmosphere and burst in harmonic joy above a field and some rather startled shepherds.
“But the crowd was bigger than that. The shepherds were a distinct minority. Mostly, the angels were just singing to sheep.
“I’m sure those animals paid attention, and not just because there was a baby in their food bowl.”
from Russ Ramsey’s Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative
“Though no one could have known all of this at the time, Jesus was the priest who became the sacrifice, the king who took on the form of a servant, the prophet who was himself the Word of God. He was Immanuel, God with us–Son of God, Son of Man.
“But the death and resurrection of Jesus only makes sense through the lens of his birth. God’s eternal Son, who was present at creation when God made man in his likeness, humbled himself and took on flesh, born in the likeness of man. The Maker knitted him together in Mary’s womb, fearfully and wonderfully forming each tiny part in the depths of her waters. God saw his unformed body. Every day ordained for him was recorded in his Father’s book of life before a single one had come to pass.
“And now he has come.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
from Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God: The TRUE Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ
So sing out with joy for the brave little boyWho was God, but He made Himself nothingHe gave up His pride and He came here to dieLike a man
So rejoice, ye children sing
And remember now His mercy
And sing out with joy
For the brave little boy is our Savior
Son of God,
Son of Man