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LDS Christmas Talk: Behold, the Condescension of God

I gave a talk at our ward Christmas party this evening, which I called “Behold, the Condescension of God.”  Thought I’d share it here…

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To the God Born in a Barn

2010 has been something of a rough year.  I don’t say this to be dramatic or to elicit sympathy and pity: people have rough years.  This was one of mine.  But even at its darkest, I have seen purpose in it, have recognized that God is tearing away more and more of what I thought I needed but that I don’t, so that more and more of who He made me to be can be displayed with clarity.

Still, December 23 had me on the phone with my sister.  Again.  In tears.  Again.  Wondering how I could celebrate Christmas with all its joy and spectacle when I felt so distant from anything remotely resembling it.

Then I remembered.  For all the lights and tinsel, for all the sparkling packages and clanking bells, for all the Hallelujah choruses, the decadent food, the elaborate parties, the ugly sweaters with sequins and snowmen and swirls — we are honoring the birth of a God who, ultimately, came to suffer; and in His sufferings, triumph.

That is not to say the triumph doesn’t deserve the joy and gaiety we lavish upon it; merely that this year I needed to focus on the humility of His beginning and the depth of His condescension — so lowly, so meek, that He came to meet me where I am.

So to the God born in a barn, not in a palace, not in a hospital, not even a clean bed, and laid to sleep in a feeding trough: Thank You.  You have no beauty that I should desire You, You who are smitten and afflicted, bruised and forsaken — and yet I do.  From the depths of my soul, I do!