for you.

What kind of king would leave his throne
In heaven to make this earth his home?
While men seek fame and great renown
In lowliness our king comes down

Incarnation is a big word. It means the Word made flesh and dwelt among us. It means angels and shepherds and a stable. It means The Sermon on the Mount and walking on water. It means parables and disciples and overturning the tables, so many things all the way to the crucifixion. It means nothing is impossible with God. It means love.

You left the sound of angels’ praise
To come for men with unkind ways
And by this baby’s helplessness
The power of nations is laid to rest

It manages to be both overly familiar and too big to take in, this story we celebrate. An angel came to Mary and told her she was going to have a baby. And that baby was God. We revisit it every year, pulling the nativity out of the boxes in the attic. We do our Advent readings, we sing the songs, and we tell the story over and over, trying to understand.

What kind of king would come so small
From glory to a humble stall?
That dirty manger is my heart, too
I’ll make it a royal throne for you

One way that I try to make it real is by putting myself in the nativity scene. This year, Mike and Atticus joined me. We have a dinosaur to represent Atticus, our loud, silly boy. There’s a seahorse to represent Mike, because seahorses are the best dads around. And Mike got a goblet to remind me that I am still a human, still a grown-up. I can still enjoy pretty things. Even though I am tired and drained, the Incarnation is for me. Even though Mike has had to work overtime to take care of our family, the Incarnation is for him. The Incarnation is for Atticus, even though he doesn’t know it yet. All three of us are there at the manger, waiting, watching, wondering.

Jesus, Jesus, precious One
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious One
A manger throne for God’s own Son

The Incarnation is for you, too. No matter what kind of year you have had, or how you are feeling, or whether you understand it. The God who came and took on human flesh, who was born in a stable probably doesn’t mind if our hearts are a little dusty and dirty as long as we are making space for him. May the wonder of it all strike you anew this year.

My heart is a throne
My heart is a throne for God’s own Son

Lyrics by Julie Miller. Sadly, I could not find a video of her singing it. Please don’t go watch the videos that feature Third Day. Seek out the Julie Miller version. Thank you and good night.

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4 Comments

  1. my thoughts, exactly, sweet friend. lovely post.

    Posted 12/20/2011 at | Permalink
  2. Carol

    This is a beautiful post. I love the lyrics and I love the words you wrote between the verses.

    Posted 12/20/2011 at | Permalink
  3. Nancy

    You have really captured the true meaning of Christmas. And I love that your family is there in the manger scene “watching, waiting, wondering.” The incarnation is indeed for each of us, even if, like Atticus, we don’t know it yet. The wonderful thing is that he will know it because you will teach him. Would that all children had that chance to learn how deep is the love of God.

    Posted 12/20/2011 at | Permalink
  4. wow. this is an incredible post. “trying to understand…” i feel that’s all i’m ever doing, is trying to understand… as your blog title says, “through a glass darkly”… and putting yourselves in the nativity? LOVE it. i’m going to have to do that with my boys. bless you friend. xo

    Posted 12/23/2011 at | Permalink

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