Not long ago Jessica and I received the Sears Wish Book—a huge catalogue filled with a myriad of products designed to draw your heart into wanting material things. Trust me, the Toronto Maple Leaf section of the book is very enticing. Christmas is a marketing dream for stores. Retailers advertise Christmas sales earlier every year and wildly promote special shopping days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and of course Boxing Day enticing Canadians into spending millions of dollars.
In response, I combat the allure of materialism by re-reading “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” This phenomenal compilation from twenty-two theologians past and present causes my heart to focus on what is really important leading up to Christmas day.
This week I was reading and preparing to teach from the book of Philippians when my heart was drawn to these verses, “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Phil 2:6-8
These are powerful and inspired words written by the apostle Paul concerning what Jesus Christ did. And while this passage is not typically part of the Christmas story let’s look at it through the lens of what happened over 2000 years ago in a town called Bethlehem.
Bethlehem is overflowing with descendants of David, men of the tribe of Judah. There is no room for Joseph and his obviously pregnant wife Mary, so they take up residence in a stable filled with animals and equipped with a feeding trough that will soon double as a baby’s crib.
Into this lowly place Jesus Christ—the One who was with God, the One who is God, the One who spoke creation in to existence—is delivered.
He enters into His world not as God, but as a humble man who would live 33 years and then be nailed to a cross to die, not for His sins, but for our sins past, present and future.
Stop for a moment and put the flyers down, turn off your cell phone, mute the TV and worship God—He humbled Himself for YOU!
How often do we reflect on the right gift to show our love to our children, spouse and family? Some might say they spend more time thinking about those gifts versus the gift of Jesus Christ. But I echo the cry of Paul, “may it never be!”
This Christmas remember that Jesus Christ, Creator, Most High, the King of Kings humbled Himself. He took on the form of a bond-servant, made in the likeness of man to the point of death for you. There is no greater gift than this, all else will fade away but Jesus gives the gift that is eternal.
On behalf of Jessica, Gail, Katie, Tom and Terry, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May God Bless you as you worship and celebrate the birth of the King!
P.S. Christmas is a great time to give the gift of Inductive Bible Study to your loved ones. Introduce them to this way of study in which they will intimately come to know the humble Saviour as they become established in God’s Word and are changed forever!
Also, let me tell you about two free Christmas Bible Studies that you can download. Click below to access them.