I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
I love this song.
As far as contemporary Christian, Christmas songs go, this could very well be my favorite. What I have done here is taken the liberty of pulling out the chorus for a moment so we might first examine the stanza.
Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl –
Just a child –
Is this who we’ve waited for?
Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
What a wonderfully prophesied, significantly acute lyric. After all we have sought, assumed, and predicted; the Father shows up and does exceedingly abundantly more…with less…and in a word, we are astonished.
“Is this Who we’ve waited for?
We answer the first of the six questions with a booming proclamation,
Yes! Without any doubt, this is our Messiah!
And as the affirmation pours out from our hearts; as His Spirit bears witness with our spirit (Romans 8:16), it’s understood by all believers that this is more than just an emotional, religious gesture — we know how this story ends! Therefore, whatever our all looks like, He is worthy to receive it.
Five More Questions
- How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
- How many lords have abandoned their homes?
- How many greats have become the least for me?
- How many Gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that has torn all apart?
- How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
I find it intriguing that six questions are posed and that the Solution to the mystery; the only conceivable answer, is realized in the historical seventh position: the place of Sabbath and rest.
For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath…Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 12:8; 11:28
It’s Who we’ve waited for…only One did that for me.
In the best possible way, the saints are convicted.
With un-scaled eyes we realize that kings never freely tender their platforms, monarchs don’t voluntarily vacate their palaces, large doesn’t routinely pursue small, false idols cannot redeem, and dads won’t willingly sacrifice their boys.
Only One did that.
Only One could do that.
So in gratitude we cling firmly to doctrines of reasonable service and nonconformance to worldly canons, despite having access and freedom in all things. He has lovingly revealed that not all things are helpful (1 Corinthians 6:2) nor do all things bring Him glory. We’re submitted to restoration, because it testifies to what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect in God.
As the lyricist declares, ‘because we believe,’ all that we have, precious or modest, we willingly sacrifice, knowing He is the sole provider. Our faith, our time, our talent, our audience — He has given it all. Therefore, whatever we do, we forego personal gain and do it all for the glory of God, giving Jesus Christ the recognition in every opportunity, so that others might come to know Him as we know Him (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).
If we’re invited to a thousand celebrations we know it’s only right at each occasion to seek out and thank the host — failure to do so is the grossest of insults. God gave His all and will continue to give His all and to the degree we understand what this means, is to the degree we give our all too.
Only one question remains.
Do You Believe?
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:9-16
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