… have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV)
Read: Philippians 2:1-11
Consider: Christmas is fast approaching and it is very easy to get caught up in all the hype. In the UK shops have been preparing for Christmas and many put their Christmas stock on display several weeks ago.
As Christians it is important to remind ourselves and the world that commercialism, tinsel and Christmas trees are not the point of Christmas. For us it is a time to remember that Jesus was born into a humble family and that his life would ultimately lead to the cross. In reality, while at this time of year we concentrate upon Jesus’ birth, the cross looms large. It is through Jesus’ death on the cross that God’s great work of redemption and forgiveness is achieved.
Over the Advent period we will look at many of the Bible passages that point to Jesus’ nativity, his life and death. Let’s begin with something that Paul said in his letter to the Philippians:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
It is difficult for us to imagine the enormity of how it must have felt for Jesus to humble himself, to come to earth in human form and for this to ultimately lead to the cross. However, we must remember that the cross would not be possible without Christ’s advent (arrival) into the world.
Pray: Father, help us to show the world the real meaning of Christmas. May our non-Christian neighbours and friends see in us something of Christ’s humility. Amen