Saturday, December 17, 2011

Today's Advent Passage: Philippians 2:5-8

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 made himself nothing, 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.
(Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)

On the day of Jesus' birth, something miraculous and mysterious happened: God became a man. The Apostle John puts it this way: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). The Apostle Paul tried to capture this miracle and mystery by saying, "For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (Colossians 1:19).

However this marvelous event occurred, Paul tells the Philippians that it holds an example for us. Jesus didn't cling to His equality with God. He willingly gave up His divine privileges. He willingly took the position of a slave - completely focused on the will of His Master ... His Father. He humbled Himself fully and completely, to the point of death on a cross.

This, Paul tells us, should be our attitude. Holding loosely any benefits or privileges. Not focusing on position. Seeing ourselves as His servant. Fully obeying God, whatever the cost.

Tomorrow our church will have its annual Christmas pageant. Cute kids will demonstrate the familiar nativity story. My prayer for myself and all who see this is that when we see the baby Jesus lying in the manger, we will ponder that "in Him all the fullness of God" was dwelling, and yet He willingly set aside His divine privileges and took on human flesh. "A human baby bearing undiminished deity", the song below says.

No comments: