“He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him” (John 1:10, New English Translation).
As I sat in church, the words of the song “Down from His Glory” washed over me. Once again, I was reminded of the glory God left behind to come to earth to save me. The song isn’t really considered a Christmas song, but it is so appropriate for the season of His coming. As the notes soared, certain phrases stood out in my mind.
My God and Savior came, And Jesus was his name,
Born in a manger, To his own a stranger.
The Jewish people expected their coming Messiah to arrive in a princely manner. They did not recognize the tiny baby who spent His first nights among the animals and lying in a manger. The family look weary from their travels, and—well—ordinary. There was nothing about this scene that resembled the long-awaited One prophesied about in the Old Testament.
The King of kings wore the clothes of a common man. He lived an ordinary small-town life until the start of His ministry. Can you imagine His day-to-day routine as He interacted with neighbors, attended synagogue on the Sabbath, and worked in the carpenter shop? Did anyone in Nazareth suspect He was more than just “Mary and Joseph’s boy”?
God understands us because He became one of us. He lived among us. He laughed; He cried; He loved. He knew pain, loneliness, rejection. He gave up everything because of His great love for us. This was His plan to bring us salvation.
God, gracious, tender, Laid aside His splendor.
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul.
This One who created everything owned nothing here on earth. It was all borrowed.
- He was born in a borrowed manger.
- He preached from a borrowed boat.
- He rode a borrowed donkey.
- He ate His last meal in a borrowed room.
- He was buried in a borrowed tomb.
I am awed that the Mighty God went to such great length to redeem my soul. My Lord and King laid aside the splendor of heaven to enter my world, to understand me, to love me unconditionally, and to save me from my sins.
Oh, how I love him, How I adore him,
My breath my sunshine, My all in all,
The Great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in him.
(“Down from His Glory” was written by William E. Booth-Clibborn in 1921.)