Holidays

Meditation for Advent

Think of that wonderful truth that God came here in human flesh and blood, and…died a cruel death upon the tree. Turn that over and over again… Think over all the details of it; accustom yourself to look towards God in Christ Jesus in your thoughts and contemplations. Set your face that way…

—C.H. Spurgeon


In the holiday hustle, I want to draw near to Christ, sit in his presence and reflect again on the way he happily made himself nothing—wholeheartedly surrendering to God’s grueling-but-glorious plan.

What if the frenzy of this season could be overshadowed by our awe-filled thoughts of the Incarnation? Let’s “set our faces this way,” let’s look long at God Almighty who pushed himself down into flesh-and-bone, to love us to himself. . . .

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The One who owns “every beast of the forest” and “the cattle on a thousand hills,” made his first bed in an animal’s feeding trough. (Psalm 50:10; Luke 2:7)

The One whose voice “breaks the cedars, flashes forth flames of fire, and shakes the wilderness,” cried and cooed as a newborn. (Psalm 29; Job 38:34, 40:9; Revelation 1:15; Isaiah 53:7)

The One who rides through the skies in his majesty, who binds the chains of the Pleiades and looses the cords of Orion, looked up into his star-studded sky through the wonder of a child’s eyes.  (Deuteronomy 33:26; Job 38:31)

The One whose love for his children is “as high as the heavens are above the earth,” became the humble recipient of a mother’s imperfect love.  (Psalm 103:11)

The One who treads the winepress of wrath, who has “walked in the recesses of the deep,” became a toddler whose feet faltered often as he learned to walk.  (Psalm 104:32)

The One “who can number the clouds by wisdom” and numbers the hairs on our heads, and keeps count of our tossing and tears, learned to count from the beginning, “1… 2… 3.” (Job 38:37; Luke 12:7; Psalm 56:8)

The One who adorns himself with majesty and dignity; who clothes himself with glory and splendor—he let himself be wrapped in swaddling cloths and “had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” (Job 40:10; Revelation 4; Isaiah 53:2-3; Luke 2:7)

The One whose fame leaves men prostrate and speechless, became the child of scandal (a virgin mother, indeed!), the subject of hushed (and not-so-hushed) conversations and chastising sideways glances. (Habakkuk 3:2; Psalm 19; Daniel 7; Revelation 4)

Let it leave us breathless all over again: our God became poor so that we could become rich in him. He was rejected so that we could be accepted. He set his gaze upon the cruel cross, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death”—so that we could live.

{How can we imitate this humble, sacrificial love this Christmas? How does Jesus want to live his life through us to those who are hurting around us?}

*Spurgeon quote from his sermon, “The Life Look,” January 21, 1904. Emphasis mine.

**A version of this post was originally written in December 2014 and appears on True Woman