The Christmas season is almost over. It seems to start earlier each year. Merchants begin promoting their Christmas merchandise as early as possible to maximize those sales. I hate that. But like most everyone else I have enjoyed the decorations, the shopping, the ringing bellls, and the music. With only one shopping day left until Christmas Day it seems to me to be the perfect time to start meditating on the Christmas story.
I am captivated at the poetic descriptions of the glory of Jesus’ arrival in Christmas anthems. One of the terms used (in an anthem which I liked but which was new to me) was how this event showed the Lord to be a “condescending God.”
That phrase struck a chord with me as soon as it was sung. I could barely listen to the rest of the song as I thought about how appropriate that term in for the miracle of grace that was Christ becoming man. “Condescending” is mostly a term used these days in a negative way. It’s usually used to express offense that you are not given the respect or honor you deserve.
“Don’t use that condescending tone with me, sir! I am the one in charge!”
And yet it’s a perfect way to describe what happened 2000 years ago. God, being completely holy, totally separate from man, unstained by man’s sin and completely removed from our time-oriented, earthly existance. He condescended to us in his glorious mercy and grace to save us. We were in trouble, spinning our wheels in a shallow purposeless life, and helplessly destined for the punishment we deserved because of our sin. There was no way out, no way we could save ourselves, and no way we could make ourselves acceptable to God. But He condescended to us, revealed to us His Word, the Word. He sent us His Son, God in the flesh so we could find true life, real forgiveness, and an authentic fellowship with the One who created us.
Glory to God in the Highest!
Our God is a Condescending God.