The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
After reading those verses, you might be thinking: wait, is this a Lenten devotional or an advent devotional? Let me assure you, it is a Lenten devotional. Yesterday we considered Christ’s humiliation, and his conception and birth are the first part of that humiliation. When we think about the birth of the baby Jesus, we properly think about it with joy. Joy to the world, the Lord has come! But today let’s try to think about it from Christ’s point of view.
Just imagine that you lived in the biggest, most incredible, most lovely home in the entire world, with an army of servants to attend to your every desire. And then imagine that you gave all that up to go live in the tiniest, most broken down, wretched, barely standing dwelling. That doesn’t even begin to compare with what our Savior did.
As the Westminster Larger Catechism explains, “Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased in the fullness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born in her” (A47, partial). Incredible! Look at the ways in which Christ humbled himself: from eternal God to finite man, from the bosom of the Father to the belly of Mary, from the Son of God to the son of a woman of low estate (that is, low economic and social position). And most incredibly, he was pleased to do this!
What wondrous love is this! This is a love we cannot fully understand, and yet it is a love that we gratefully accept. Dear believer, how much does Jesus love you, that he would willingly humble himself in such a way, so that he might bring you salvation, so that you might have fellowship with him and the Father and the Holy Spirit, so that you might be exalted beyond anything that you deserve?!
Once again, let us praise him, and proclaim with Martin Luther:
Once did the skies before Thee bow;
A virgin’s arms contain Thee now,
While angels, who in Thee rejoice,
Now listen for Thine infant voice.