By Danish Philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. The king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents.
And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden who lived in a poor village in his kingdom. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist-no one dared resist him. But would she love him?
She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know for sure? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject.
He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross the gulf between them. For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal.
The king, convinced he could not elevate the maiden without crushing her freedom, resolved to descend to her. Clothed as a beggar, he approached her cottage with a worn cloak fluttering loose about him. This was not just a disguise – the king took on a totally new identity – He had renounced his throne to declare his love and to win hers.
What a gamble! She might love him or she might spurn him and send him away, and he would lose her love forever! But that’s a picture of the choice God gave to mankind, and that, of course, is what the parable is all about.
Our Lord humbled Himself in an effort to win our love. “Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation” (Philippians 2:5-7). That is the story of Christmas: God in a manger; God found in a form that no one could possibly fear.
Now the question is this: Will we love Him, or will we spurn Him and send Him away?
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Invite Jesus Christ in to your life this Christmas. The gift that He seeks you need not wrap, for He only wants your love. God made His home with us that we might make our home with God.