Christmas tends to bring out the best and worst in people. If you’ve ever been to Wal-Mart on Black Friday, you have seen some of the worst — greed, selfishness, entitlement, rudeness. I could go on and on. We can become self-absorbed as we think about our “wants” for Christmas. On the flip side, we see the generosity of others as they give to those less fortunate. We see sacrificial giving of time and money.
While at a Behold the Lamb Concert (which I highly recommend), Andrew Peterson read from Philippians 2 after singing about the prophecies regarding the Messiah. These words stood out to me.
“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.”
Jesus gave up his rightful place in heaven, his throne, and the worship of the heavenly hosts and lowered himself to become human. Why? Because of his great love for us. When I see images of the baby Jesus in a manger, it isn’t just a cute reminder of Jesus’ birthday. It is a profound example of God emptying himself for our sake.
Oh that we would follow his example. I want to empty myself so He can fill me with his presence. I want to focus on laying down my rights and wants for His name’s sake.
Instead of focusing on what you “get” this Christmas, focus on how you can “give” for his glory. This giving doesn’t have to be material in nature — sometimes it is giving our time, our forgiveness, a listening ear — what can you give to bring God glory and bless someone else this Christmas?