“Lift up your head your heads you gates; be lifted up you ancient doors” The King has come!
One of the things I have missed this Christmas is the opportunity to sing carols in any great number. We have listened to them at home, we’ve had the opportunity to sing along with one or two during our on line services but it’s just not the same as singing them with others in an unrestrained way. Together these songs tell aspects of the Christmas story and so many put great truths into memorable phrases, for example.... “how silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven. No ear may hear his coming but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.” These words convey at one and the same time the birth of Jesus without fanfare at Bethlehem and the humility in which we must enter the kingdom of God as we yield ourselves willingly to his authority.
In an obvious sense though, the whole idea contrasts with the sentiment of Psalm 24 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it”, and definitely with verses 7-10 “Lift up your heads you gates; be lifted up you ancient doors that the King of Glory may come in.” There is nothing covert about the Lord’s ownership of the world and all in it, nor when he returns, will his coming be hidden. Our King is mighty; he fights for his people and brings them victory. Our King is the King of glory and yet he chose to humble himself and took the form of a baby becoming dependant on a human mother and adopted father for every basic need just the same as every other human child. Surely of all life on earth there is nothing more vulnerable and helpless than a new born child. What a mystery this is.
Our King created the world and continues to sustain it (verse 2) yet he confined himself to the span of a human life. Is that going too far? I don’t think so, take for example Colossian 1:16-17... “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” That means that from the manger he held all things together. Astounding! Yet, as Saviour, even now he waits to be received by the humble soul, the believing heart. One day though he will return as King and then every knee will bow.
We will all have our favourite Christmas Carol but for many of us one in particular must stand out and it’s ending sends a tingle down our spine....”mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth: Hark! the herald angels sing, glory to the new born King.