>h.r.l. – his royal lowliness

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this stone marks the lowest point on earth

Jesus starts at the bottom – and stays there.

Ten days ago we were rounding off the church’s year by celebrating Christ the King – it has to remain a private awards ceremony because so many in the world choose to disagree – and Jesus would never impose himself. He’s King only to those who want him as such. Humility is his middle name.

We start the new year with clues that it is not “Highness” to describe his position, but low(li)ness. It is his royal lowliness (no capitals please) that according to the Advent hymn O come, o come Emmanuel “from depths of hell thy people save”. Jesus’s ministry begins at the lowest point on the surface of the earth – in the River Jordan. His life proceeds along the same low level of altitude – the wrong side of the fault line – to his death on the cross.

Jude Simpson has a wonderful Advent Reflection called Broken Open which takes us along this low line. She traces Jesus’s movements through the lowest points of people’s lives.

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