"He….encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord." Acts 11:23
The Glory of the Incarnation!
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter nineteen, verse ten, we are reminded that Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost. Had man not been lost, He never would have had to come. Now here is a sobering thought — to our sin we owe the incarnation! As we contemplate the Christmas season and all of it's hustle and bustle, let us revel in the glory of the incarnation, that moment in time when God became man, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. That time when God, the Invisible, appeared. Ponder it's mystery, slight not its history, glory in it's majesty and clarity, it is such a wonderful story to tell. One of my favorite advent poems is that by Charles Wesley, one of the great hymn writers of all time. It deserves our thoughtful meditation.
Glory be to God on high, and Peace on earth descend;
God comes down, He bows the Sky; He shows Himself our Friend!
God, the Invisible appears, God the Blest, the Great I AM
Sojourns in the Vale of Tears, and Jesus is His Name.
Him the Angels all Ador'd, their Maker and their King;
Tidings of their Humbled LORD they now to Mortals bring.
Emptied of His Majesty, of His dazzling Glories shorn,
Beings Source begins to BE and God Himself is BORN!
See the Eternal Son of GOD, a Mortal Son of Man,
Dwelling in an earthly clod whom Heaven cannot contain!
Stand amaz'd ye Heavens at This! See the LORD of Earth and Skies
Humbled to the Dust He is, and in a Manger lies.
We the Sons of Men rejoice, the Prince of Peace proclaim,
With Heaven's Host lift up our voice, and shout Immanuel's Name.
Knees and hearts to Him we bow, of our Flesh, and of our Bone,
JESUS is our Brother now, and GOD is all our own!
As I reflect upon Wesley's words, I wonder, "Why would He who dwells above want to dwell below? Why would He who is invisible want to appear? How can one whom heaven cannot contain be confined to dwell within an earthly body?" How, my friend, can we ever fathom an eternal, heaven-dwelling, immortal God becoming a mortal human being? It is beyond our comprehension, but not beyond our praise – "Stand amaz'd ye Heavens at This!"
With Paul, in II Corinthians 9:15, we also say, "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." Along with the incarnation texts of Scriptures, may we meditate upon these verses of Wesley's hymn. The glory of the incarnation is certainly worthy of our utmost contemplation.
A Baby's hands in Bethlehem were small and softly curled.
But held within their dimpled grasp, the Hope of all the world.
Maynard H. Belt
Mich. Assoc. of Regular Baptist Churches