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  • Jeff Chacon

Our Inconspicuous God

How would you describe God?


Powerful? Yes!

Majestic? Absolutely!

Glorious? Like no other!


How about inconspicuous?...


Wait a minute – what does that word mean? It means “not attracting attention; unobtrusive, discreet, unremarkable, ordinary, modest, quiet, unassuming, subtle.”


Really? Our powerful, majestic, glorious God is inconspicuous?...


Yep. That’s how Jesus entered the world – inconspicuously. That’s one of the greatest surprises of the Christmas story – the King’s inconspicuous entrance into his world.


Think about it: does the Son of God enter into his world as an important dignitary – with fanfare, pomp and circumstance?


No, he enters his world…inconspicuously…

as a baby,

born to poor parents,

who give birth to him in a barn,

and then lay him in a manger (a feeding trough)

surrounded by poor shepherds and their sheep (Luke 2:4-16).


Why? What’s the point?


Well, there’s several reasons:

to relate to the least of us,

to model humility,

to display the nature of his kingdom,

and most importantly… to win our hearts…


I love how the Danish theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, illustrates this in his parable about the Prince and the Maiden. Here’s how it goes…


The story is told of a powerful King who fell in love with a poor 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…


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.


In this parable, Kierkegaard has captured the essence of the Christmas story –

that our powerful, majestic, glorious God entered into his creation not as the King of Kings –

but as a baby,

born to poor parents,

who give birth to him in a barn,

and then lay him in a manger (a feeding trough)

surrounded by poor shepherds and their sheep (Luke 2:4-16).


And it’s not just a disguise.

Paul tells us that Jesus renounced all the advantages of Heaven,

making himself nothing,

taking the very nature of a servant,

and being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7).


Why?


To relate to the least of us,

to model humility,

to display the nature of his kingdom,

and most importantly… to win our hearts…


This Christmas, open your heart to the greatest love story ever told –

the one between us

and our inconspicuous God.

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