Giving Up Glory
Pondering, meditating, musing, thinking about, letting it sink in. What am I talking about? Christmas. It’s a familiar story, we know it, we retell it every year, we celebrate it. We put ourselves in Mary’s place, what would it have been like to be so young, a virgin and carrying the Son of God? Who would believe such a wild story? We put ourselves in Joseph’s place. What would it have been like to have been told your young fiancé was pregnant and you knew it wasn’t your child? Can you imagine the conversation going on in his head? That is until an angel of the Lord had a little talk with Joseph. We tell the story of the shepherds and wise men. It doesn’t matter that the wise men didn’t show up with the shepherds. They all take their place in my nativity set together. All are there – Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wisemen, and the angel standing tall looking down from above, the camels, even a cow takes its place looking toward the baby that lays in the cradle. That would be enough for us to ponder on. But there is more.
We know, Jesus – the baby, is the Son of God who has come to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin so that we can be saved from our sin and enter a relationship with God that transforms our lives. We’ve been told in many ways throughout the years that that transformation happens throughout our lifetime. It’s not a onetime event that we can check off our bucket list of things to do before we die. If we are in a real relationship with the Lord, we are constantly being transformed into the likeness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” That would be enough for us to mediate on, to examine ourselves, to determine how well we are handling the transformation process.
But what I wanted us to spend sometime pondering is what Jesus left in order to become that babe in the cradle. John 1: 1-4 states; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. Philippians 2: 6-7 state “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Think about it. Jesus, that tiny little baby that we celebrate by putting a representation of Him in our nativity scenes pre-existed all things. He was with God the Father and Holy Spirit creating all that we know and even things that we don’t know. And there in heaven, He left His Crown (for He is King Jesus), He left his Throne, He left a place where angels worshiped Him day and night, a place where no one rebelled against Him, or called Him names or doubted His word. He left a place of perfect peace and harmony. A place where no one would beat Him, or place a crown of thorns on His head, or stick a spear in His sides. He left a place where He was honored and respected to come here ONLY because of His love for you and me. He gave up everything for us. Let that sink in. He gave up everything for you.
Who would you give up everything for? Though I love my family to death, I can’t imagine doing what Jesus did. Though each of you are important, would I empty myself of everything and leave a perfect place (Heaven) to come to a place that had been distorted and corrupted by sin? Jesus didn’t just leave His home, He left His perfect home where He reigned, all to come to this difficult place that is suffering because of sin.
As you set up your nativity sets, think about Jesus leaving the comfort of heaven only to arrive in a place meant for animals, a place filled with hay and manure. As you decorate your Christmas trees remember that Jesus left the glory of heaven to be hung on an old rugged cross.
Ponder these things – and be thankful for His love which will be the absolute best gift you will receive your entire life!