Joel Elliott Mooneyhan
Songs Through Advent: King Without A Mountain
Here a king without a mountain,
No chariot to come to Him,
Lean in close now and listen:
"Prepare the golden diadem!”
And I hear the Child's mother say,
Nearer, clearer: "Thou hast come to reign,”
-King Without A Mountain, by Beta Radio
Like the rest of the Christian story, nothing about the events leading up to Christmas make any sense.
Here is the story of the birth of a long-awaited king. His mother is, as far as the world is concerned, no one special. His father isn’t a warrior or even a leader of any kind. By all appearances to anyone who knew them then, Joseph was marrying a woman who had apparently been unfaithful to him and then agreeing to raise her illegitimate child. I’ve got more to say there, but it will have to wait.
The only people who seem to know what’s going on are Elizabeth and Zechariah—an old woman and an even older man who had been struck mute for some reason—and a group of shepherds. No one of any notoriety is there to proclaim this king. No dignitaries, no ambassadors, no priests, no throngs of loyal subjects, no one.
Sure, there are angels who tell the shepherds who has been born. But tell me who you’d believe if they said a group of angels told them that God’s Son had just been born in some boondock hotel garage across town.
No one, that’s who.
Think of literally any other story or legend or folk tale about a long-awaited savior, and it looks nothing like this one. And if it does look anything like this one, it’s because it is inspired by it.
It just does not make any sense. This isn't how kings are born. This is indignity beneath any god worth worshipping.
Our Savior is born helpless and worshipped in secret. Pretty soon, Mary and Joseph will have to go on the run. He is a King born in a borrowed room, whose destiny is to be enthroned on a cross, proclaimed in mockery, and crowned with thorns. No one in their right mind would follow such a failure.
And yet, people will.
God works in riddles.
This post is inspired by "King Without A Mountain," by Beta Radio, from their album The Songs the Season Brings. You can listen to it on Spotify by clicking here, and you really should.