A song, entitled, “How Should a King Come”, written by Carol and Jimmy Owens says, “How should a King come? Even a child knows the answer, of course, in a coach of gold with a pure white horse. In the beautiful city in the prime of the day, and the trumpets should cry and the crowds make way. And the flags fly high in the morning sun, and the people all cheer for the sovereign one. And everyone knows that’s the way that it’s done. That’s the way that a King should come.”
True! Consider the fanfare surrounding William and Kate, as they presented Prince George this past July.
Presidents, prime ministers, and other dignitaries are always recognized by the ceremony and security accompanying them.
But that’s not how Christ came.
The shepherds were told to look for a sign, not a parade. An angel instructed them, “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 12:2)
The shepherds found that baby. Renaissance art portrays Christ with a shimmering halo, but there was no such sign.
The Greek word for baby means a newborn child … that’s it. They found humanity. However, a kind of humanity that would later on be, “Tempted in every way, like us, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
They found helplessness. Jesus was lying there, reliant upon others to meet His needs and wrapped tightly in strips of cloth.
The wrappings were extensive, making the baby look like a miniature mummy. Thirty- three years later, Jesus was brought before His accusers, willingly helpless, so that He could become, “the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God …” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
They found Him in humility. The mangers on church stages are quite antiseptic. Christ’s manger was more like a feeding trough, or perhaps a circle of stones placed around a hollowed-out area in the earth.
Philippians 2:7 says, “He made himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant … made in human likeness.”
Owens’ hymn goes on to say, “How should a King come. On a star filled night into Bethlehem, Rode a weary woman and a worried man. And the only sound in the cobblestone street, Was the shuffle and the ring of their donkey’s feet. And a King lay hid in a virgin’s womb, And there were no crowds to see Him come. At last in a barn in a manger of hay, He came and God incarnate lay … Earth was silent so heaven rang! … Men were dumb so the angels sang … Glory glory to God!”
How should a King come? Perhaps the question should be reversed. How should we come to the King?
Pastor Ross Helgeton is the senior pastor of Evangelical Free Church of Erskine.
— Faith & Reflection