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We Have Seen His Glory

Christmas Carol: I Wonder as I Wander

Comprehending the Nativity: The Necessary Introduction to God's Love

by Bryan Price

During the Christmas season, we are accustomed to seeing Nativity scenes planted throughout our communities. Whether at a church, school, or across the street in a neighbor's yard, everywhere we turn we see figurines depicting the baby Jesus lying in a manger surrounded by farm animals, wise men and shepherds. Unfortunately, Nativity scenes do not capture the full meaning of the Nativity itself, and statues simply cannot convey the entire story.

On the night that Jesus was born, the God who stands outside the bounds of time and space left behind His home in glory, where He enjoyed the perpetual praise of angels and the splendor of a heavenly court. He clothed His Divinity with humanity and stepped onto the stage of human history, locating Himself not amongst the Roman imperium or the Jewish monarchy—places representing power and nobility—but in a Bethlehem stable amid the bleating of sheep and the mooing of cattle. He was born and reared in obscurity so that He might identify with the weak and the broken hearted and bring good news to the poor and the oppressed (Luke 4:18-19; Hebrews 4:15).

If we were not the wretched and sinful creatures that we are, what happened that night would not bear much significance. Yet, when we consider the biblical assertion "there is none good, no not one" (Psalm 53:1-3) and that "all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned—each one—to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6), that first Christmas night takes on a remarkable depth of meaning.

The Nativity set in motion the redemptive plan conceived in the mind of God before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4). At His birth, "God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus, who did not deserve death, was born to die so that we who deserve death might live; and this He did of His own volition, without coercion or manipulation. He was fully aware of the rejection, the suffering, and the humiliation that He would endure, and yet He remained undeterred.

Now, if we are honest, we would admit that the notion of the Nativity is beyond our comprehension. It exceeds our intellectual capacity to grasp why a self-sustaining, self-sufficient God, who is just and perfect in all His ways, would sacrifice His Son to bring fallen humanity into relationship with Himself. The only explanation that we have is love. Only an unconditional love can produce the grace necessary to redeem a people who were otherwise beyond redemption, and this is precisely the love that God portrayed at the Nativity. While Calvary may well be the culmination of God's love, the Nativity is the necessary introduction to God's love. It is where we begin to see just how near we are to the heart of God.

During this Christmas season, let us be intent on setting aside time each day to ponder the Nativity, remembering that in Christ, God looked beyond every flaw and imperfection inherent to our fallen condition; He became one of us, He lived among us, and then died for us; for no other reason than His immeasurable love for us.

Click the play button above to hear "I Wonder as I Wander" performed by DBU Chamber Singers, Brant Williams (soloist)

Recording Engineer: Quincy Roan | Written by: John Jacob Niles | Arranged by: David Maddux

Bryan Price, Senior Pastor at Love Fellowship Baptist Church, is a current Ph.D. in Leadership Studies student with a concentration in Ministry Leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

The DBU Chamber Singers is a university vocal ensemble that specializes in the performance of music intended for smaller vocal groups.

Brant Williams graduated with a General Studies in Music Business from Dallas Baptist University.

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