During our Advent vespers last Wednesday my church joined in singing Psalm 93. The first verse really caught my attention for its contrast to how I used to think of Advent and Christmas.
The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength[.]
Why is this such an appropriate Psalm to sing during Advent? After all, it doesn’t describe the Christmas story at all. Jesus isn’t robed in the majesty that the Son of God deserves; He’s born in a humble stable, wrapped in rags, and laid in a repurposed feeding trough — from the beginning the God-man experiences suffering and rejection from His people. And “armed with strength?” An infant, cooing for His mother’s milk? Strength is not the word that springs to mind.
And yet this is the perfect Psalm to remind us that things are not always as they seem. God is not always in the whirlwind, or the fire, or the earthquake. God is in the still and the small — in the quiet burbling of the newborn Christ-child, God is robed in majesty and strength, for “He will save His people from their sins.” This baby will bring an end to all of the principalities and powers of darkness. He will deliver us from death, hell, and the devil. He will go to the cross, and there, veiled in suffering, God will set aside the record of our debt, our sin, by nailing it to the cross. This little boy, sleeping in the lap of the Mother of God, is the undoing of all of our evils, for He is the righteous one.
The Lord is robed in majesty, and armed with strength. Amen.