LIO Advent Edition: Day 15 of 15
Today’s wow-inspiring truth about God: God is humble.
I imagine by the time of the Christmas story, the people of Israel were getting quite restless. They knew all the prophecies about their promised Savior—they probably thought he would come in the form of a dashing hero, riding in on a white horse, ready to lead them in a revolution against their Roman oppressors. But the true story of their promised Savior’s arrival was far less impressive and far more humble than they ever could have imagined.
Here’s how Luke describes the Savior’s arrival.
And while they [Mary & Joseph] were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
Not quite the triumphant entry people would have expected. In fact, had it not been for angels appearing to shepherds to announce his birth and a few wise men bringing gifts to the baby many months later, the story of Jesus’ arrival would’ve been completely uneventful. Even with the inclusion of supernatural events like angels coming on the scene, Jesus’ birth story subverted expectations, as no one would have guessed that the first people to hear about the arrival of the Messiah would be lowly working-class shepherds.
Jesus’ arrival subverted all expectations the people had about the Messiah, and it displayed his humility. Instead of showing up as a hero riding in on a white horse with pomp and circumstance, he showed up as a baby, with no fanfare. Instead of arriving in the palace or the temple, he arrived in a tiny town that didn’t have enough lodging for him and his family and was placed in a manger—an animal feeding trough. Instead of being introduced to royalty, his birth was announced to lowly shepherds. Instead of growing up in a palace, he grew up as a carpenter’s son in a place called Nazareth—a place that Nathaniel disregarded when he asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46b).
Jesus, the Savior of the world, arrived humbly, and he lived humbly. In all he said, in all he did, in whom he spent his time with, he was humble. And in his most humble act of all, he took on our sin and died on the cross in our place.
As Paul said when he wrote to the church in Philippi:
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
This Christmas, may we humble ourselves like Jesus as we reflect on all he has done for us.
How would you have expected the Messiah to arrive?
This Christmas, how will you humble yourself in service to others?
Attend a Christmas service, online or in person, to experience the Wonder of Christmas. Visit CedarCreek.tv to learn more about service times.
Jesus, thank you for humbly giving up your divine privileges to serve and save me. Help me to follow your example, and humble myself in service of others during this season. Amen.
Family Advent Activity:
Throughout this Christmas season, CedarCreek’s Family Ministries will be providing us with some fun ways to connect with the Christmas story through Scripture readings and engaging activities. This will help prepare our hearts for Christmas and create great Christmas memories for you and your family. These Family Advent Activities will be located at the end of each LivingItOut devotional.
Today’s Activity: Read Luke 2:21 together as a family. Jesus’ name means “The Lord is salvation!” Share with each other what your name means. (Google is your friend for this.) Then share the story behind your name if you know it.
This post was written by David Hammack, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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