Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding
The end of fear for all who hear
The silent Word is speaking
This, this is Christ the king
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary
A Merry Christmas Eve to you! I am so privileged to spend a few minutes with you as we meditate on our Savior’s arrival on this precious occasion. As we ponder the verse above commemorating His coming, two things jump out:
1) The call to humility. “In such mean estate.” The Lord of Lords, the King of the Universe, subjected Himself to birth in a barn. Cattle shuffled in close proximity to Mary’s laboring with the Savior. The odor of manure hung in the air around Him as He made His entrance into our world. He moved from the very highest place to the very lowest place, releasing a newborn’s squall from His bitty lungs newly filled with air. From the very first second of His earthly sojourn, He showed us how to be “gentle and humble in heart.” In the greatest act of humbling that creation has ever witnessed, He became a tiny human. From there, He continued to humble Himself, obedient to the death, even death on a cross.
Christmas teaches us the beauty of humility. As we celebrate His advent today, He calls us to imitate Him. In our current life circumstances, are we willing to humble ourselves, as He did? Are we willing to live lives worthy of Him?
2) The call to fearlessness. Our lovely verse goes on, proclaiming “The end of fear for all who hear.” Jesus also showed us the way on this one. Leaving behind His glory, He climbed into a human body and lived a fearless human life. Today, His perfect love casts every fear from our hearts as we turn to Him as our Savior. He was born, lived, died, and rose again, for this reason:
“To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life” (Luke 1:74-75, NKJV, emphasis mine).
These were the words of Zechariah as he prophetically trumpeted the joy of the Savior’s appearing, just months before Jesus’ birth. Christmas teaches you and me that we really can live free from fear. Will we open our hearts to receive this most magnificent of gifts?
What are some practical ways that we can humble ourselves like Jesus, right now in our current context? And what does it look like to serve Him without fear?