“That You would leave Your throne
And make this world Your home
Forsaking majesty
Embracing mundane
And all of its shame…” (Aaron Shust, ‘Wondrous Love’)

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Phil 2:5-8)

These verses and this song have kept me reflecting on the mystery that is the Incarnation. I can’t get my head around this! Why Jesus would want to leave the majesty of heaven to dwell on earth is beyond me. I can’t comprehend such love, only receive it gratefully.

Even more amazing in a way, though, is the fact that Jesus came in the flesh, as man, and lived over thirty years as an ordinary man. It wasn’t all about miracles and glorious sights. So much of it was just, as Aaron Shust says, ’embracing mundane’. I love that phrase. The idea of ’embracing’ (with all its fervour, passion and connotations of love) and ‘mundane’ (‘of this world, rather than the heavenly world’, but more commonly, ‘lacking interest or excitement, dull, common, ordinary, banal’) is indeed an oxymoron. Jesus knew what it was to be fully man. He knew what the banal, the ordinary, the everyday life looked like. He ‘knew rejection, loss and grief’, as the song says, or as Hebrews puts it ‘we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.’ (Hebrews 4:15) We so often crave excitement, adventure, spiritual highs… but God Himself knows what the monotony of the ordinary is all about. He’s lived it.

The chorus goes on to say:
‘What wondrous love is this
What wondrous love is this
That You would lay aside Your glory for my soul!
What wondrous love is this
What wondrous love is this
That You would lay down Your life for my soul!’

We are left reassured that God knows what it’s like to live in our world and encouraged by the fact that this wondrous love took our place, bore the agony of the Cross for us and ‘loved a world that nailed You to a tree’. God is so good.