Both Sexes Redeemed, Honored in the Incarnation

“It was as though he addressed them and said: ‘That you might know that of itself God’s creature is not bad, but only evil desire has perverted it–in the beginning when I made man, I made them male and female. I do not condemn my own creation. See, I have been born a man; see, I have been born of a woman. It is not, therefore, my own creation that I condemn, but the sins which are not my handiwork.’

Let each sex see its own honor, let each confess its own guilt, and let them both hope for salvation. When man was about to be deceived, it was through woman that the potion of destruction was administered to him: so, when man is to be restored, let it be through woman that the cup of salvation is presented to him. Let woman make good the sin of man deceived through her, by giving birth to Christ. Hence, too, women were the first to announce the Resurrection of God to the Apostles. The woman in paradise announced death to her husband; and so, too, the women in the Church announced salvation to the men. The Apostles were to announce Christ’s resurrection to the nations; women announced it to the Apostles. Therefore, let no one misrepresent the fact that Christ was born of a woman. The Deliverer could not have been defiled by that sex; and as its Creator could not but show it favor.” -Augustine, Christmas and Epiphany Sermons

A King for Normal People

“In the eyes of the poor, imperial robes excite no affection, a man in their own garb attracts their confidence. With what pertinacity will workingmen cleave to a leader of their own order, believing in him because he knows their toils, sympathizes in their sorrows, and feels an interest in all their concerns. Great commanders have readily won the hearts of their soldiers by sharing their hardships and roughing it as if they belonged to the ranks. The King of Men who was born in Bethlehem, was not exempted in his infancy from the common calamities of the poor, nay, his lot was even worse than theirs. I think I hear the shepherds comment on the manger-birth, “Ah!” said one to his fellow, “then he will not be like Herod the tyrant; he will remember the manger and feel for the poor; poor helpless infant, I feel a love for him even now, what miserable accommodation this cold world yields its Savior; it is not a Caesar that is born to-day; he will never trample down our fields with his armies, or slaughter our flocks for his courtiers, he will be the poor man’s friend, the people’s monarch; according to the words of our shepherd-king, he shall judge the poor of the people; he shall save the children of the needy.” Surely the shepherds, and such as they—the poor of the earth, perceived at once that here was the plebeian king; noble in descent, but still as the Lord hath called him, “one chosen out of the people.” Great Prince of Peace! the manger was thy royal cradle!” -Charles Spurgeon, Twelve Christmas Sermons

Again, Why a Manger?

“Even as an infant, by being laid in a manger, he was set forth as the sinner’s friend. Come to him, ye that are weary and heavy-laden! Come to him, ye that are broken in spirit, ye who are bowed down in soul! Come to him, ye that despise yourselves and are despised of others! Come to him, publican and harlot! Come to him, thief and drunkard! In the manger there he lies, unguarded from your touch and unshielded from your gaze. Bow the knee, and kiss the Son of God; accept him as your Savior, for he puts himself into that manger that you may approach him. The throne of Solomon might awe you, but the manger of the Son of David must invite you. ” -Charles Spurgeon, Twelve Christmas Sermons