Philippians 2:1-11 ESV  So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In the midst of re-telling the wondrous birth of Jesus to our Sunday School toddlers’ class, the enormity of what God has done for us struck me anew. I was trying to impress upon our little ones how great our God is to give up and leave His heavenly throne to come dwell among human beings in the lowest way, a smelly manger surrounded by farm animals... all for you and me.
Besides proclaiming God’s unconditional saving love for us, Jesus’ birth also demonstrated what true humility is – one which flows from love as its root source, with focus on God and on others, not on self. Because He humbled (emptied of pride, glory, recognition) Himself, so must I. This is followed, in verses 9-11, with God’s assurance that He will exalt the humble. Hence I should wait patiently for Him to do so, in His time, not mine (1 Peter 5:6).
Prayer: Lord, in preparing my heart for Christmas, may I renew daily my amazement at Your saving love. Help me to be humble, to empty myself of all but love for You and those around me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free! For, O my God, it found out me.
Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me!
Charles Wesley 1707-1788