Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (Advent: Day 10)

This Polish carol originated in the early 1900’s and carries on the Advent theme from yesterday’s Away in a Manger. If you have a chance to listen to one of the links below, you will be blessed with how quiet and worshipful this song is. It truly is awesome to imagine the birth of the Christ child.

Infant holy, Infant lowly, for His bed a cattle stall; oxen lowing, little knowing Christ the babe is Lord of all. Swift are winging angels singing, nowells ringing, tidings bringing; Christ the babe is Lord of all; Christ the babe is Lord of all!

Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping vigil till the morning new; saw the glory, heard the story – tidings of a gospel true. Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow, praises voicing, greet the morrow: Christ the babe was born for you; Christ the babe was born for you!

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly lyrics

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.

JOHN 1:14

Jesus is the only begotten, one of a kind, unique Son of God – full of grace and truth. The Greek word for grace is “charis.” Spiros explains that “Gods grace is the absolute free expression of the loving kindness of God to men, finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor. Gods grace affects mans sinfulness and not only forgives the repentant sinner, but brings joy and thankfulness to him.” The Greek word for truth is “aletheia.”Spiros continues, “the Lord Jesus is called the truth, meaning truth incarnate, the teacher of divine truth.” The word “full” literally means abundant or abounding.

What does the divine Teacher want to teach us?

Then Jesus said, Come unto Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.

Matthew 11:28-29 NLT

Lets unpack this! The word for the phrase “weary and carry heavy burdens” has the idea of being worn out, weary, and fatigued in labor. The word for “rest” means quiet refreshment.

Take My yoke upon you” is symbolic of oxen bound together in a yoke. Farmers would pair an older, wiser, stronger ox with a smaller, less experienced ox. This would train the younger ox, because the stronger ox would lead him as they were yoked together and walking side by side. This paints a beautiful picture of us being yoked with Christ. A friend and I used to joke around reminding each other to yield to the yoke! Sometimes we get tempted to fight it out with the Lord, and make it so much more difficult than it needs to be. We have to remember to die to self and yield to the One who is all powerful and all wise!

Jesus wants to teach us because He is gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart. This is who He is in His essence. The word for “gentle” means meek, or strength under control. Jesus is strong, yet gentle. We don’t need to be afraid of Him. The word for “humble” has the idea of lowly and implies an inner disposition of dependence on God, a lowly position or spirit. Jesus exercised full dependence on the Father and was (and is) totally approachable. He wants us to come as we are.

We will experience this about Jesus when we come to Him, and the result will be rest for our souls. The word “rest” means an inner tranquility of our heart and emotions. Jesus’ yoke is “easy,” meaning “it will furnish what is needed, having nothing harsh or galling about it.” His burden is “light,” literally meaning “not heavy.” This is in stark contrast to the yoke of the flesh which Galatians 5:1 calls a yoke of slavery or bondage.

During this Advent season, are you weary and heavy laden? Life is hard and 2020 has been a harsh reminder. Do you realize that Jesus is fully approachable and wants you to come to Him? If you are yoked to the flesh you will experience bondage. Jesus wants you to experience His grace and His rest! Yield to His yoke!

Out of My Bondage, Sorrow and Night

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus I come! Jesus I come!
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light.
Jesus I come to Thee!

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus I come! Jesus I come!
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus I come to Thee!

Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus I come to Thee!

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus I come! Jesus I come!
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus I come to Thee!

Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus I come to Thee!

William T Sleeper 1887

Advent Reflections:

1. In what ways do you feel weary and worn out this season?

2. How does the truth of Matthew 11:28-29 encourage your heart?

3. Read Psalm 94:19. How has God’s Word helped you in times of anxiety?

4. Read I Peter 5:6-7. What do these verses tell you to do? How does this fit with Matthew 11:28-29?

5. How does knowing that Jesus is full of grace and truth encourage your heart to come to Him?

Click here to watch a choral presentation of Infant Holy, Infant Lowly on YouTube.

Click here to watch Chris Rupp’s a-cappella version on YouTube.

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