Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent Day Nineteen: mild He lays His glory by

Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise; join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heaven adored; Christ the everlasting Lord.
Late in time behold Him come, offspring of the Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"
***
This is a triumphant hymn which, to me, always sounds best with trumpets and an organ with all the stops pulled out!  Yet what struck me as I was re-reading the words was the humility of Jesus:  He is "pleased as man with man to dwell," and "mild He lays His glory by."  Amazing words.  I grumble about having to give up thirty seconds of my time to glue  Jonathan's puzzle piece yet again -- so I can't even begin to imagine how Jesus gave up His place of glory and companionship with the Father in heaven to come to earth and live with, and die for, human beings.  Yet this song says He did so willingly.  It reminds me of the passage from Philippians 2:5-11:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
but made himself nothing,taking the very nature of a servant, 
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself 
and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!  
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,   
that at the name of Jesus 
every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father.

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