Out of the Ivory Palaces
Will Durrant, popular historian and philosopher, has appropriately categorized the greatest question of our time, "Can a man live without God?". God sees that in man, and works opposite of man's pride for life. Should we fall victim to suac a posture, the appropriate word to describe that self-exultation, is hubris - translated into English from the Greek, as 'pride'. Man has always had an insatiable need for power and the insistence of worldly wisdom and knowledge. There are two basic idolatries against God - the need for power and the insistence of worldly wisdom and knowledge. We need to be rescued from this appetite for worldly power, wisdom and knowledge, thus the premise for why Christ came in the first place.
We have often understood the Christmas story in terms of Jesus coming to the earth and therefore we recognize Bethlehem, an obscure place, with very unusual messengers, the shepherds, who are the first two proclaim the message of Christ. We have no problem understanding that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a virgin who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. However, it is much more difficult to understand where Jesus came from. The old hymn, "ivory palaces", gives us a glimpse of a different understanding of Christmas.