Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
Scriptures: Luke 2:8-20 Matthew 16:13-19
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, for His bed a cattle stall
As we sing the words of this Christmas carol, what picture does it evoke? In my mind’s eye I see a wee babe wrapped in cloths, laid in a feeding trough, with His slightly bemused and amazed earthly parents gazing on in wonder. And I have to remind myself that this was indeed the Son of God, Emmanuel born as a human. It is beyond my comprehension to grasp that our God allowed Himself to be conceived, to develop in the virgin’s womb and to go through the exhaustion of an earthly birth.
For thirty years the one and only Son of God, born in human form, lived as a tradesman, in a small insignificant town, in a country suffering under the heel of a despotic tyrant’s rule. This man who was God in flesh, lived as one of us, Who, during His brief life, would fulfil all the prophesies spoken of Him down through the ages. Then, He began the ministry that His Father God had sent Him to carry out. A ministry that would culminate in the only way that this lost and broken world could be saved.
With the twelve He had called to follow Him, our Messiah walked, taught and healed, revealing the nature and Person of the Living God to all who had been seeking Him for so many years. Yet, He came to His own and His own rejected Him.
The time came when Jesus asked His disciples a question that they needed to understand for themselves how the answer laid bare the hearts of the nation who prided themselves on being the children of the One True God. “Who do men say that I am?” What they replied must have cut Jesus deeply within His Heart, as the disciples maybe began to recognise in their answer that the nation was indeed blind to Who it was who walked among them.
Then He asked them “But who do you say that I AM?” As was often the way, Peter answered with, what I imagine to be, exuberant and enthusiastic assurance. “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, Revelation that could only have come from God Himself.And it is upon this Revelation, granted to the one Jesus knew would deny Him in the not too distant future, that the Church of Jesus Christ would be built.
This question that was asked by Jesus of His disciples is a question that is confronting in its complexity, one that it is essential that we ask of ourselves. Who do I say that Jesus is?
Do I only see the infant being rocked in His mother’s arm, the elder brother of a growing family, the young man learning His earthly father’s trade? Perhaps a brilliant teacher with a deep, enlightening understanding of the old scriptures? Or an itinerant, miracle working preacher? Who do I see when I see Jesus?
Jesus said that if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. The Father Who stands at the window longing for us to come home, yearning for the day we will relinquish our pride, our desire solely for the things of God and run into His Arms. The Father Who willingly and abundantly continues to give us of His Provision, of His Healing, of all that He has created, even though it is His earnest desire for us to come to Him with just one thing on our hearts. That we should KNOW Him, the only True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent into this world to bring us salvation and everlasting Life.
Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Gift of the Father to us. What He did and still does in providing and teaching and healing is wonderful. But to abide in the Revelation that He is the Christ, beloved of His Father, and the only way to get to know the Father, this is Life Eternal.
Prayer: Abba Father, in this last Sunday of Advent season, may we light the candle of Love in our hearts. A love that will burn eternally. A love, not for the things of God, but a deep, ever-growing love for You, our Father, and for Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen