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31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Nineteen

17 December 2016

“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”


advent wordsCondescension is the stooping from a higher position, in order to place ourselves on a level with those whose position is a lower one than our own. The good teacher stoops to the level of a learner, in order to become intelligible to him; the prince who loves his people stoops to kindly and familiar intercourse, or comes down from his own level to that of others. What shall we say, then, of the condescension of our King, who was God, co-equal with the Father, when He stooped to our low estate, and came to dwell among those whom He had made out of the dust of the earth? How can we ever appreciate as we ought this debasement of Himself for our sakes?

If our King had for one moment taken the form of one of the archangels, or had appeared for an instant among us clad in a human form of majesty, such a condescension on the part of the Infinite God would have had an infinite value. It would have been an infinite debasement of His glory and dignity. What, then, was the Divine condescension that led Him to hide Himself in the womb of one of His own creatures, to appear as a helpless babe, to grow up as if an ordinary human being, to appear among men as the inferior and the servant of others, and to mix with the sinful worms of earth as His friends and brethren!

But all this did not satisfy Him. He must needs prepare for Himself not merely a humble life, but one of rejection, and insult, and outrage. He desired to stoop as low as He possibly could, to submit to be trampled on, spat upon, and even put to a slave’s death. How strange, with such an example before me, that I should be so unwilling to stoop! It is because I am misled by my pride, and do not see in what true dignity consists.

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