This was a Christmas Sermon written by Theodtus, Bishop of Ancrya, I felt that he puts it rather well…
A Christmas Sermon written in 455AD by Theodtus, Bishop of Ancrya
The Lord of all comes in the form of a servant; and he comes as a poor man, so that he will not frighten away those souls he seeks to capture like a huntsman. He is born in an obscure town, deliberately choosing a humble dwelling-place. His mother is a simple maiden, not a great lady. And the reason for all this lowly state is so that he may gently ensnare mankind and bring us to salvation. If he had been born amid the splendour of a rich family, unbelievers would surely have said that the face of the world had been changed by the power of wealth. If he had chosen to be born in Rome, the greatest of cities, they would have ascribed the same change to the power of her citizens.
Suppose our Lord had been the son of an emperor; they would have pointed to the advantage of authority. Imagine his father a legislator, their cry would have been, “See what can be brought about by the law.” But, in fact what did he do? He chose nothing but poverty and mean surroundings, everything that was plain and ordinary, and in the eyes of most people, obscure. And this so that it could be clearly seen that the Godhead alone transformed the world. That was why he chose his mother from among the poor of a very poor country, and became poor himself.
This is the lesson of the crib. Since there was no bed, our Lord was laid in a manger. This lack of necessities of life was the best way of proclaiming the will of God. He was laid in a manger to show that he was to be the food even of simple folk. We know in fact, how the divine Word, the Son of God, drew to himself both rich & poor, the eloquent and the inarticulate, as he lay in the manger surrounded by poverty.
Seen then how poverty acted as a prophecy – how his poverty showed that he who became poor for our sake was thereby made accessible to everyone. Christ made no ostentatious display of riches, which would have made people frightened to approach him; he assumed no royal state, which would have driven men away from his presence. No, he came among ordinary men as one of themselves, offering himself freely for the salvation of all.”
We are made in the image and likeness of our God and so tonight we pray with Gerard Manley Hopkins:
“Make me pure, Lord; thou art holy: Make me meek Lord; thou wert lowly, Now beginning, and always; Now begin, on Christmas Day.”
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! O Holy Night. Today is born our Saviour, Christ the Lord.