31 Days of Christmas Lyrics, Day 3 (He Became Poor)

But He became poor…

I had never heard this song before hearing Damaris Carbaugh sing it on her Christmas album, and ever since it has been once of “those” songs. Indeed, it remains in my “Required Listening” category all year long, to keep my eyes and my head in the right place.

The Greek word Tetelestai has come to mean so much to me in these past few months – “It is finished.” At first glance, of course these are the words of Jesus on the cross, and say all that can be said. But what I may not know (because I won’t presume to tell you what you may not know) is that Tetelestai was used in that culture as a part of a transaction or business arrangement between two parties. When they had agreed on a deal, and both parties had fulfilled their obligation in the contract, the word Tetelestai was written on the bottom – “it is finished” or “it is completed.”

And, of course my Calbert imagination (coupled with my lack of positive self image) sees me as a Craigslist ad with words like As-Is, Use For Parts Only, and Not In Operable Condition – NO REFUNDS. A wreck of a train wreck. And yet, the price for this living, breathing scrap heap was so very, very high.

But where I see worthlessness, Emmanuel saw worth. He accepted the terms of the arrangement, completed them all, and purchased me. Tetelestai. If He can see that kind of worth in me, completing the contract for my very life, I ought to try and see myself through His eyes.

Tetelestai. It is finished.

They borrowed a manger of hay for His bed; Jesus my Savior;
No soft, downy pillow, no warm cradle spread for Jesus, my Lord.
His were the planets and stars in the sky;
His were the valleys and mountains so high;
His, all earth’s riches from pole unto pole;
But He became poor to ransom my soul.
Byron Carmony © 1958 by Lillenas Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

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