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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kicking Jesus outa the manger

Mary Did You Know? (With Audio CD)

OK, R'Cat's got my crank turnin' with her Daily Advent Meditations over at Cathouse Chat. Another good'un today riffing off the Mark Lowry song, "Mary Did You Know?" (A song that, by now, has been recorded by nearly everyone and his dog, but well worth a listen, IMO. I happen to like the Kenny Rogers/Wynonna Judd version.) I recieved a rather lengthy email yesterday, one of those multi-forwarded things The Giftwith an article supposedly (probably true, just haven't bothered to check) reproduced from a newspaper article going slightly "mad dog" all over the hyper-secularization of Christmas. This comment set me back on my heels:

"We've allowed the Baby Jesus to be kicked out of His lowly manger, and those offended by Christmas are still not happy."

Well, d'oh. What did The Man Himself have to say about such things?

18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'(_a_) John 15:18-27 NJKV

And some of the foundational teachings of the Christian church include multiple reminders of Christ's humility and of Christians' call to emulate it.

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake... Phil. 1:29 NKJV


5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phil. 2:5-8 NKJV

So, an ACLU mentality wants to "kick the baby Jesus out of his lowly manger"? If Philippians 2:5-8 is a true witness, then He'd just sleep on the floor.

Consider the old Christmas song:

1. Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown when Thou camest to earth for me,
But in Bethlehem's home there was found no room for Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee!

2. Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang, proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But in lowly birth didst Thou come to earth, and in great humility,
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee!

3. The foxes found rest and birds their nest in the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God, in the desert of Galilee,
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee!

4. Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word that should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn, they bore Thee to Calvary.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee!

5. When the heavens shall ring, and her choirs shall sing at Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me on, saying, "Yet there is room, there is room at My side for thee."
And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus, when Thou comest and callest for me.

So, the secular world finds less and less room for Christ in Christmas, in public displays, in store greetings and product labels, etc.? There's always room to keep Christ in Christmas where it counts.

Update: No music at Cathouse Chat for "Mary Did You Know?"—do go buy your own copy—so here's an mp3 INSTRUMENTAL-ONLY accompaniment that incorporates/"covers" several different artist's sounds (Michael English, most). If you have any familiarity at all with the song and a singing voice, you might be able to sing along with the words on Romeocat's post. A guitar doubling the melody much of the way through may help a bit.