Splendor of Christmas

A beautiful Christmas tree representing the splendor of Christmas

Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
    Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Psalm 29:2 NLT

Such contrasts at Christmas -the stunning display of angels against the night sky juxtaposed with the shepherds, no doubt soiled from work. The majesty of God, His regal splendor set aside in the simple shepherding town of Bethlehem. The tiny baby in a manger, fully human, fully God. Would we have recognized the splendor of His holiness had we witnessed the coming of the Lord Jesus?

What deep descent—from the heights of glory to the depths of shame; from the wonders of Heaven to the wickedness of earth; from exaltation to humili­ation; from the throne to the tree; from dignity to debase­ment; from worship to wrath; from the halls of Heaven to the nails of earth; from the corona­tion to the curse; from the glory place to the gory place at the cross!

In Bethlehem, humility and glory in their extremes were joined. Born in a stable. Cradled in a cattle trough. Wrapped in swaddling clothes of poverty. No room for Him who made all rooms! No place for Him who made and knows all places! Oh, deep humiliation of the Creator—born of the creature, woman! But His descent was the dawn of mercy. Because we can­not ascend to Him, He descends to us.

R.G.Lee, Christmas Then and Now sermon

Jesus descends to us to set us free! His humiliation secures our transformation — what an amazing gift!

Paul writes in Ephesians, “However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, ‘When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.’ Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.” Christ descended into our lowly world to secure our salvation and bless us with gifts of the Spirit! Clearly, “Generous” doesn’t begin to explain the magnitude of His sacrifice! Jesus is the splendor of Christmas!

Amid the splendors of thy state,
My God, thy love appears,
With the soft radiance of the moon
Among a thousand stars.

Nature through all her ample round
Thy boundless power proclaims.
And, in melodious accent, speaks
The goodness of thy names.

Thy justice, holiness, and truth,
Our solemn awe excite;
But the sweet charms of sovereign grace
O’erwhelm us with delight.

Angels and men the news proclaim
Through earth and heaven above,
The joyful, the transporting news,
That God, the Lord is Love!

John Rippon

Dear Jesus, thank you for divesting yourself of heaven and coming to earth for us. You became human to be our kinsman-redeemer. It boggles our brain that You, the eternal One, would take on flesh. We praise the splendor of your holiness, your majesty! Teach us to live in awe of your incredible gift to us! Amen.

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