Have we ever noticed that our culture, our society, celebrates Christmas long before it ever gets here? The Christmas shopping season gets pushed back farther and farther, so that now even Thanksgiving is turned into getting stuff for Christmas. There are parties and celebrations weeks in advance, (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but when the actual day finally gets here - by Christmas morning - many are simply tired of it all. Tired of celebrating.
But Christ invites us to take a break from all the wordly activities, to find rest and peace for our eternal soul, in the real reason for the season. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek.
The world celebrates Christmas so altogether different than the Church. In fact, many probably think it’s strange that we begin Advent, the pre-Christmas season, by celebrating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. What does that have to do with Christmas and the baby Jesus? He was in His thirties by that time, in fact it was only days before His crucifixion. What does that have to do with Christmas? Come on, forget about that crucifixion stuff, it’s Christmas time, it’s December, it’s time to live it up, party hard, and dream about our Christmas presents.
But, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee meek, and lowly. He comes bringing salvation, forgiveness for our every last sin. He comes to make all things right between us and God, and promise there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. He comes bringing the comfort that can only come from knowing He accomplished all things needful for us to be saved, on the cross.
Thy King comes meek - and so isn’t it fitting, that our hearts be humble, repentant, ready to receive our humble King? Are we ready?
He comes in a way so altogether different than what the world would want and expect. He is the most powerful being in the universe, Scripture says, nothing was made without Him. He is the first and last, the great I AM, the everlasting God. And here is how the King of all kings comes: riding on a lowly donkey. And before that, born of a lowly virgin, in a lowly town, in a lowly manger - no one hardly even noticed the birth of the greatest King of all – and many of those who did, saw Him as either a threat, or a nuisance, and they wanted Him gone.
And today also, why doesn’t He show us His almighty power? Why doesn’t He come out of the clouds, perform great miracles, to make people believe in Him? Because Christ Himself says, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, (His Word) even a great miracle won’t persuade anyone. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God.
Christ came, Christ was born, Christ rode into Jerusalem, to give us His life. Christ was born so that He could lay it down, and then rise again, and promise that just as surely as He lives, you too will live.
He came, He was born, to give us that comfort in the forgiveness of our sins, that precious hope in the resurrection.
His greatest desire today, is to come into your heart and mine, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee. But how? Through shopping? Through as many Christmas presents as possible? Through the getting of every earthly thing we ever desired? Through a great miracle so we can have proof He is God? No, He comes meek, and lowly. Through the humble means of God’s Word, through the humble means of the waters of Baptism, the lowly bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper, which, by the power of His Word, contains the true body and blood of Christ, given and shed for the remission of all our sins.
Is this the kind of King we want? He says, “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.” Are we ready to receive Him, through repentance, and faith?
Our hearts must be humble - ready to receive our humble King. Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The good news is that Christ came not to exact vengeance on us for our lack of humbleness. He came on a donkey, showing that He comes in peace, with forgiveness. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.
And so He came, and still comes, meek, so that there is hope even for the greatest of sinners – even for those who have lost all hope. No matter how great our sins have been, Christ came, not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He came to free us from the power of sin, by giving us His life, by rising again. He raises us to new life, right here and now, by His Word, by His Sacraments. He gives us new hope, new strength, new life, by the forgiveness of our sins.
He says, come to Me, believe in Me, and you will find rest unto your soul.
The world defintely doesn’t want to hear about the Jesus who was born to suffer for our sins - the Jesus who calls on us to be lowly in heart.
“Let’s just stick with cute nativity scene, with the cute little baby, with cute little sheep, and cute little shepherd figures. Let’s stick with the shopping, and the eggnog.” But what about the salvation of our soul?
Thankfully Christ keeps knocking on the door of our heart. He keeps calling us by the humble Gospel. He keeps coming to us, freely offering complete freedom from the power of sin. “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”Behold, thy King cometh unto thee meek, lowly. He brings everything we need to be saved. May His Spirit then continue keep us in that humbleness, repentance, the one true saving faith, as He enables us by His Spirit to repent, to believe and receive our humble King who comes in meekness. Amen.