The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/26/2006):

The Incarnation as the Humiliation of God
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE gathers in several quotations and Scripture passages that speak to the important truth of the humiliation of God the Son (the Incarnation) as part of the great story of redemption.

============================================ (“O Come, O Come, Immanuel”) (C. S. Lewis) (Ambrose and Luther) (Dutch Carol) (Ulrich Shaffer) (Dudley-Smith) ("Gathered Round Your Table") ("The Gift of Gifts") ("Of the Father's Love Begotten") (Spurgeon)

JOHN 1:10-14 (NIV)
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man—a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular color, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a Woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.

—C. S. Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., p. 155.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

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!

All that springs from the humility of this sublime moment [the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ] is grasped by the faith of Christians, while far from the comprehension of the godless; since God "has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, and revealed them to the little ones" (Luke 10:21).

So let the humble hold fast to the humility of God, so that this wonderful support may, like a beast of burden, lighten the burden of their weakness, and they may arrive at the heights of God. As for the wise and prudent, they aim at the loftiness of God without believing in his humble lowliness; and so, by overstepping his humility and reaching his loftiness, they have remained, empty and weightless, inflated and elated, dangling, as it were, at a windy middle level between heaven and earth.

They are indeed wise and prudent, but in the affairs of this world, not of the one by whom the world was made. Because if they were possessed of the true wisdom, which is from God and is God, they world understand that it was possible for flesh to be taken on by God without his being changed into flesh; they would understand that he took to himself what he was not, while remaining what he was; and that he came to us in a man without ever departing from the Father; and that he continued to be what he is, while appearing to us as what we are; and that his divine power was confined in the body of an infant without being withdrawn from the whole mass of the universe.

—Augustine of Hippo (354-430), from a Christmas sermon preached in the year 396, as found in PROCLAIMING THE CHRISTMAS GOSPEL: ANCIENT SERMONS AND HYMNS FOR CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATION. Edited by John D. Witvliet and David Vroege. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004, page 30. ISBN 0-8010-6405-8

"O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."
"Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in."

Have a great week.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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