Meekness and Majesty

2020 was a year in which many of us had to give up many things. Families and friends gave up holiday plans, birthday parties, weddings and graduation ceremonies. Whole industries ground to a halt and many had to give up their jobs for new ones, if any. Workers gave up their usual work schedules, and students their timetables. Churches could no longer hold their weekly gatherings and church camps in the same way.

Amidst a time of great disorientation, giving up something in Lent to honour God might be the last thing on our minds. One might be tempted to avoid broaching the subject with God altogether. “Give up? Sacrifice? Haven’t I already given up so much in the past year? I would really like to have a break from having to sacrifice.”

Scripture does have a word for us in times like these. The journey of every disciple ought to be marked by sacrifice; this path is laid down by none other than Jesus Himself, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6–8).

Notice the fourfold magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice—from God to servant, servant to man; and as man, he suffered, and then he died—not just in an ordinary way—but violently and most painfully on the cross. How is it that, as the song by Graham Kendrick says, the Lord of infinity would stoop so low to lift us up to the heights of his throne? One can only conclude with Kendrick in the chorus—“O what a mystery!”—and bow down and worship God.

Perhaps the tumult of the past year has revealed what you had unknowingly placed above Jesus, and hence what you need to give up for this season. Or maybe you are doubting God’s presence with you as you sacrifice your work for your family, your personal time for your children, and your own plans for others’ sake. Whatever your situation, remember Jesus’ sacrifice. He is surely with you as you make sacrifice after sacrifice in honour of Him.

Meekness & Majesty

Meekness and majesty,
manhood and deity
in perfect harmony—
the Man who is God.
Lord of eternity
dwells in humanity,
kneels in humility
and washes our feet.

O what a mystery—
meekness and majesty!
Bow down and worship,
for this is your God!
This is your God!

Father’s pure radiance,
perfect in innocence,
yet learns obedience
to death on a cross.
Suffering to give us life,
conquering through sacrifice.
And as they crucify
prays “Father forgive”.

Wisdom unsearchable,
God the invisible,
love indestructible
in frailty appears.
Lord of infinity,
stooping so tenderly,
lifts our humanity
to the heights of His throne.

Words and Music: Graham Kendrick (1986)

Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music (PRS) (adm. worldwide at CapitolCMGPublishing.com excluding Europe which is adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family. Songs@integritymusic.com) All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Amelia Leo is a programmes executive at the Methodist School of Music, Worship & Church Music Department. As a new mother of one, she is still learning what sacrifice means.