Don’t just sing the words.


I’m a classic christmas carol girl.

I don’t want new hits about Christmas by One Direction or Kelly Clarkson.

I don’t want something to try to funk it up.  I don’t want pauses at weird times or notes held longer in a new spot.

I just want to be able to sing along.  Belt it out with assurance.  Know what’s coming and find comfort and stability in that.

I know, I know.  I’m asking a lot of my Christmas carols.  (and pop bands across the world)

I just never tire of the classics.  They are so rich lyrically and they move me to tears almost every time.  I wonder if their composers ever fathomed what they’d written…

I wonder if they thought they’d be famous.  I wonder if they dreamed that this was going to be the hit that made them rich.  The one that spread to nations far and wide and made them a household name!  I wonder if they poured over the lyrics with thoughts of the lofty position it would bring them.  Pounded out the melody on the piano with dreams of the vacations they would take when this one topped the charts.

Sorta ruins the feeling of the song though, doesn’t it?

A phrase has stuck with me through this season since hearing it on first advent.  We all know Hark the Herald Angels sing and I’m pretty sure we could allow ourselves to slip into auto pilot when singing it because the words just roll off our tongue, we’ve sung it for so long.  But if you read the words, well I can’t but helped be moved to overwhelming worship.

Mild He lay his glory by.

How many of us want nothing more than glory?  We want a well done or an award or that promotion that tells us we’ve done well!  We want our kids to be polite and to finish that race in record time and we want our pictures on instagram to show of the fabulous life we live.  We want the restaurants we frequent to reflect our status.  The time spent with our families to hail us as people who have our priorities in the right place.  The ways we help the poor or weak to stroke our own egos.

Mild he lay his glory by.

We want someone to notice when we vacuumed the carpets and we want to show off our new set of wheels.  We want eyelashes that scream that we’re beautiful, closets that reflect our hard work and impeccable fashion sense.  We want to be important.  We want people to know that we’re important.  That we do good.  That we are good!

Mild he lay his glory by.

We want our conversation to hold that perfect balance of intelligent and witty.  We want our spouses to be beautiful.  We want people to notice when they are.  We want our meals to be made using only the finest local and organic ingredients and we need our toilet brush holder to reflect our personality.  Are you a bold red or a shiny chrome.  Heaven forbid if you’re a boring white plastic.

But the one who had it all, who was it all, who is worthy of all – he laid it down.  Whoa.  Anyone else need to take a moment with that one?

We strive for a position we can’t have because we hold power and prestige to be paramount.  But the one who is all powerful?  He set that aside.  Laid it down.

The wording is powerful.  The imagery of laying down.  Placing specifically.  With intention.

He wasn’t robbed of his glory.  He wasn’t forced to push it aside.  He didn’t grumble and complain and sorta kick his glory over for awhile.  No, he took what he had, what was his, and he set it over there.

It hurts my heart just a little to think that he would do this.  Makes it ache because he didn’t have to.  But he did.

And he took what he knew, and I assure you that what he knew was so much better than a bigger house in a loftier neighbourhood or a longer vacation in a more luxurious destination, and he left it there.  He took perfect comfort and stability and peace and perfection (quite literally) and he said I don’t need these right now because they need me more.  And the king set aside his crown.  He let his beautiful garments fall.  And he walked away from his position of power.

To what?

I can’t even fathom giving up my delicious smelling shampoo or my morning coffee.  Both of which, let’s just agree, pale in comparison.

We know what he came to.  The young couple, the digs fit for animals, having a daddy that needed to go to work.

We’re called to be like him.  To be conformed to his image.  But what are we laying down?

Mild he lay his glory by.  Born that man no more should die.

Hark the Herald Angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”


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