From Throne to Barn
God did the unthinkable, the absurdly beautiful.
The One who wraps Himself in light made a game-changing move toward darkness. He traded Heaven for a womb. Rather than live without us forever, He’d rather live like us for a little while.
Step by step, across the throne room, He moved toward a life of flesh and pain. But this wasn’t just any life He’d pick up. His would be immeasurably more agonizing.
Did He stand at the edge of Heaven to pause, reconsider? God already knew about the pain of Calvary — with its spit and spikes and spear.
Did angels shudder when the King of Kings moved toward the rim of humanity?
Did God hold out a hand to hush the murmuring — a wordless gesture to set holy hearts at ease? Because that’s how He is, you know. He stills troubled souls, even when his own heart faces the most risk of shattering in a million pieces.
“Let not your hearts be troubled,” Jesus of Nazareth would say 33 years later, as friends gathered around a table one last time for lamb and wine and unleavened bread.
Without this First Step,
there would be no Last Supper.
And that’s what He did. He stepped.
In one giant game-changing move through the cosmos — for the sake of those who hungered — He stepped out of the throne room and into a feed trough.
For us, He became one of us.
Now, it’s our move …
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The blog post today follows a discussion last week over on my Facebook wall.
Last week, I posted these words on my status:
"Biggest game-changing move in history: Off the throne and into a barn."
My wise, insightful Facebook friends offered beautiful words. They asked great questions about what it meant to move from throne to barn to cross.
Jason, a seminary student, asked this question that challenged me:
"Have you ever wondered if the move from the throne to the manger (Or womb) was more painful than the one from the ground to the cross. I don't know why, but that thought has been running through my head. Thoughts people??"
What do you think? How would you answer Jason's question?
Your ideas are welcome …
When I was pregnant with my first, I was terrified of giving birth. I consoled myself with two thoughts: 1-If women in the jungles of Guatemala can squat in a shallow stream and give birth aided only by a neighbor, I can do this here and now. 2-Most women do it again, so it can't be all that bad.
Could it be that the cross was the threshold of returning to heaven, but this time with a full train of his robe? Women endure childbirth pains because they have to, it's the gateway to life. Nature just takes over.
Perhaps it was the same with Jesus. His divine nature taking over, willing him to the gateway that led to Life. It is, after all, where He gave birth to the church.
It's a wonder-full question from your fb friend.
I love that thought, Dawn. Love it.
Love the question too…I wonder if the Father cried as they said goodbye. I wonder if Jesus had a "garden" experience as he was leaving the palace.
Either way…He was obedient. I love that he showed us that even tho the way is hard…He made a path for us to follow. The light of the World.
Knowing how often I get frozen in my tracks, even when I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to, this is a great question for me to mull. "Game changing move." Love that. Oh, and I answered your question about the flash mob over at my place. Thanks for following. I'm honored.
Fascinating, Dawn! I had never considered this. I have merely groped for the words that you placed so eloquently in the comment box. My thanks …
And RosyRose! You, too! A "garden" experience. Can you imagine?
Beautifully written as always, Jennifer. In Him, each step gets us closer to destiny and fulfillment while knowing and expressing the intimacy He created us for. He's an incredible and loving Dad! Thanks.
Such beautifully crafted words and pictures painted in them. I remember in Bible college, in my Christology class this idea came up of how everyone looks at the cross as the only sacrifice Jesus made, but to turn and look at the sacrifice He made to limit Himself to human form after existing for eternity past in the freedom and glory of His full deity. He stooped so far down because He didn't want to lose us–Oh! I really LOVE this post Jennifer!
In response to your query: I don't know.
Everyone loves a baby. So full of promise and hope and a future.
Seemed like hardly anyone loved the Man. So full of promise and a hope and a future.
He already knew His story and purpose and Father.
Is the soul pain of rejection worse than the physical pain of crucifixion?
Again, I don't know. But praise to God, for enduring it all for me (and you).
Beautiful thoughts, my friend. I love the good things that flow from your keyboard.
this is just beautiful Jennifer. I love Jason's question.
What deep, probing thoughts here, Jennifer. From our finite human minds, fear of the unknown is surely a huge factor in our perspective. But with God there are no unknowns. He holds the future and knows the beginning from the end. Though he'd left His Heavenly throne to be humbly birthed in a manger, it was only on the cross that Jesus was ever separated from the Father as he bore the weight of all of our sins. Surely the cross was infinitely more painful.
Thank you for visiting Pollywog Creek…and leaving kind words.
Agnew (the one who best helps me move into Advent) asks the question of Jesus being born, Did you remember the brightness of Your glory Or did You just notice it was cold and dark here? Did You know Your name or did you have to be told? Were You just a baby or were You as old as time? …Did You know? Did the cross cast its shadow o'er your cradle? Did You know?
Did You shudder each time Your hammer struck a nail?
Did He know? In those moments? In the ones to come? Or did God reveal as the days wore on? How did His humanness come to bear on Him?
I've been thinking about your FB post all weekend, now this one all day. I can't stuff it into my brain. Or my heart. I can't know what He thought or knew or felt. And how I wish I could understand.
Just hopping in here to say I've been so blessed today by your insights. You help me in my "Adventing." 🙂
Lyla — Sounds like a great song. I'm an Agnew fan. Can't believe I haven't heard of this one. I'll check it out…
Walking into the barn with you and inviting you to a water buffalo party to celebrate.
Wanna make a big splash for Christmas? Then you're invited to a water buffalo party for India. No formal wear required, just stop by and visit
Be blessed bunches,
Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.
I think of this often… what was it like to trade in His throne for a manger…. I don't even have the words or depth of thought to try to make sense of it all, but it continues to show me His immeasurable love for us and woos me to Him all the more.
you have challenged me today, my friend!
Eyes welling with tears as I consider your words. Ahhh, the REAL meaning of Christmas. My prayer that our hearts would dwell here and here only. That we would forget the commercialism of man and focus on the compassion of God.
I loved your thoughts on Him stilling heavenly hearts. Beautiful!
Stunningly beautiful and simply said; so much you pack into one post, friend.
The divine "step" that changed mine. What a gift indeed.
Peaceful rest to your soul, spirit, and steps this day.