One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know.”  Mark Lowery sings it in the video below.  I wonder how much she did know.  As the events of that first Christmas unfolded before her Scripture records that “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart,” (Luke 2:19, ESV).

Her faith is remarkable.  Here she was an unwed teenager told by an angel that she was to carry God’s son, and she responds by saying, “Behold I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” (Luke 1:38, ESV).

As remarkable as that is… Mary’s faith and even the virgin birth shouldn’t have the focus.  What should is that God came to us as a man.  John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The apostle Paul describes this event even further… Jesus “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, 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 2:6-8, ESV).

God become man – Jesus Christ the God-man, 100% divinity and 100% humanity rolled into one.  Theologians call this the hypostatic union of Christ.  Jesus, the eternal Word, the Son of God, co-creator with God the Father, (John 1:1-2), made himself nothing.  The Greek word for this is kenosis, literally – he emptied Himself.  His glory was veiled.  He left His position by His Father’s side and humbled Himself.

Think about this –  God – unlimited, omnipresent, all-powerful willfully choosing to visit us as the infant son of an unwed teenager and a confused, but faithful carpenter.  He could have, at the very least, come in adult form or even by noble birth, but no.  He was a servant, for he “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (Matthew 20:28, ESV).  His ultimate act of service, and purpose for coming was to give his life and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

So we wouldn’t have to experience that.  This Baby whom we celebrate was fashioned for a Roman cross.  He was born to die – that is why He came.  Christmas is really the beginning of Easter.  My favorite Christmas Carol is “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”  I love the theology present in the lyrics as they encapsulate the purpose of the Incarnation.

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Emmanuel!

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.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lay His glory by
Born that man no more may die

Come Desire of Nations come,
Fix in us thy humble home.
Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness now efface
Stamp thine image in its place

Have a very Merry Christmas!

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