Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

"...Oh, how surprised angels were, when they were first informed that Jesus Christ, the prince of Light and Majesty, intended to shroud himself in clay and become a babe, and live and die! We know not how it was first mentioned to the angels, but when the rumor first began to get afloat among the sacred hosts, you may imagine what strange wonderment there was. What! was it true that he whose crown was all bedight with stars, would lay that crown aside? What! was it certain that he about whose shoulders was cast the purple of the universe, would become a man dressed in a peasant's garment? Could it be true that he who was everlasting and immortal would one day be nailed to a cross? Oh! how their wonderment increased! They desired to look into it. And when he descended from on high, they followed him; for Jesus was 'seen of angels', and seen in a special sense, for they looked upon him in rapturous amazement, wondering what it all could mean. 'He for our sakes became poor.' Do you see him as on that day of heaven's eclipse he did ungird his majesty? Oh, can ye conceive the yet increasing wonder of the heavenly hosts when the deed was actually done, when they saw the tiara taken off, when they saw him unbind his girdle of stars, and cast away his sandals of gold? Can ye conceive it, when he said to them, 'I do not disdain the womb of the virgin; I am going down to earth to become a man?' Can you picture them as they declared they would follow him! Yes, they followed him as near as the world would permit them. And when they came to earth they began to sing, 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.' Nor would they go away till they had made the shepherds wonder, and till heaven had hung out new stars in honor of the new-born King. And now wonder, ye angels, the Infinite has become and infant; he, upon whose shoulders the universe doth hang, hangs at his mother's breast; he who created all things, and bears up the pillars of creation, hath now become so weak that he must be carried by a woman! And oh wonder, ye that knew him in his riches, whilst ye admire his poverty! Where sleeps the newborn King? Had he the best room in Caesar's palace? hath a cradle of gold been prepared for him, and pillows of down, on which to rest his head? No, where the ox fed, in the dilapidated stable, in the manger, there the Savior lies, swathed in the swaddling bands of the children of poverty!....

...Oh, Son of Man, I know not which to admire most, thine height of glory, or the depths of thy misery! Oh, Man, slain for us, shall we not exalt thee? God over all, blessed for ever, shall we not give thee the loudest song? 'He was rich, yet for our sakes, he became poor.' If I had a tale to tell you this day, of some king, who, out of love to some fair maiden, left his kingdom and became a peasant like herself, ye would stand and wonder, and would listen to the charming tale; but when I tell of God concealing his dignity to become our Savior, our hearts are scarcely touched. Ah, my friends, we know the tale so well, we have heard it so many times; and, alas, some of us tell it so badly that we cannot expect that you would be as interested in it as the subject doth demand. But, surely, as it is said of some great works of architecture, that though they be seen every morning, there is always something fresh to wonder at; so we may say of Christ, that though we saw him every day, we should always see fresh reason to love and wonder and adore.."

(C.H.Spurgeon, "The Condescension of Christ", Spurgeon's Sermons)

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