It’s Christmas morning and I read in my devotion about the saviour’s birth – he ‘set aside His glory.’ Those words stopped me. The starkness of their simplicity, the weight of their consequence. Brought to mind the verse about ‘if God give us this, will He not then give us all things.’ Had to look it up to be sure-
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? -Romans 8:32
There’s a tremendous weight in these words too. He spared nothing. He gave himself up. Glory was set aside. For me, for you, for us all. Hard to fathom.
I imagine and think of heaven much different than I used to. This and last year’s direness put a true longing in my heart of a place that is pain and disappointment free. In a world that feels to thrive on these sometimes, it’s ethereal to imagine a place that begets none of that. An eternity beyond what I can imagine. A goodness this world cannot hold.
I think of that too this morning. This world could not hold him. His welcoming was humble, if not crude. His earthly walk already shorter than mine. Tried, tempted, hurt, disappointed. He bore the same hardships I do. He knows how I feel. He made sure of that. He set aside glory to be small like me.
And I am small. I know that. That disappoints me sometimes. Those hardships feel big, so big against my small. It’s here in the small place where I know the hallelujah begins though. It’s that faint whisper of bigger truth that nudges those aches in my heart. The truth meets me there. At the bottom that is. It kneels beside my crumbling. It is glory. Closer than my breath, just me and Him.
It says, ‘I know’. ‘I hurt too’. ‘I count those tears…every drop’. He holds my hand. He lifts my chin. He looks to heaven with me. He knows the longing to be there. He looked there too. Hanging on the cross, taking final breaths, surrendering this life – goodness leaving the world that could not hold it.
Regarding a tumble already taken this morning on a new Christmas gift, caught myself telling 6 year old Lucy, ‘you’ve got to learn how to fall.’ I felt my throat tighten around that statement. True for her, true for me. Life is much about the fall. We are beget of that first fall. It is our condition forever in this life. And I am still learning how to fall. This morning, I fall by the manger.
Glory set aside. For me, for us all. A saviour is born. Graciously given all things…this is hallelujah.