In 2008 we received a Christmas card that contained these poignant words from an old hymn I hadn’t heard before:
Thou who was rich beyond all splendor
All for loves sake, becamest poor
Throne for manger dids’t surrender
Sapphire courts for a stable floor
This poetry was inspired by 2 Corinthians 8:9 which over the years has become one of my favorite Christmas verses. “But you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” In fact, this statement has become the lens through which I view the entire Christmas story. When I look at the stable, the baby in the manger with his peasant parents, Joseph & Mary, surrounded by worshiping shepherds, I see the immeasurable wealth of the Almighty God being made poor so that I might become rich. This is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! This is so profound, giving me such a personal attachment to the story of Christmas! Elsewhere in the opening of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul recounts the riches that we have in Christ Jesus. He begins, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before for the foundation of the world … in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ …” Paul goes on and on recounting the spiritual blessings that are ours because we are in Christ Jesus.
And so Christmas is a time that I consider the riches I have in Christ Jesus, namely that I was chosen by God before the foundation of the world, loved by him so much that he sent his Son Jesus, so that I could also become his adopted son. Christmas reminds me of my spiritual adoption! And not just me, but my BIG family too. John said, “But to all who did received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12) “I bring you good news that will be for all the people,” the angel said. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10,11) I love my Trinity Church family and the joy of worshiping together these precious Sundays of Christmas, delighting in the riches that are ours in Christ Jesus.
I wrote and asked our friends to send us a copy of the hymn. I have been trying for the past 4 years to rework it into modern English with a melody that comes from my heart of gratitude in praise to the Lord. I wanted to end it with a moment gathered together around the manger worshiping our Savior who is Christ the Lord. Here is a rough recording from when we did sang it together a few Sundays ago.
[button link=”http://worship.trinityonline.org/files/2012/12/Savior-King-We-Worship-You.mp3″ newwindow=”yes”] Savior King We Worship You[/button][clear]