The Christ of Christmas

Christmas is perhaps my favorite time of year. The idea of cold nights, drinking warm tea, hot chocolate, candy canes, Christmas trees, giving gifts, and the gathering of family for Christmas get-togethers makes for great nostalgia. I remember for my late paternal grandfather, Christmas was his favorite time of year, for many of the same reasons, but mostly because it was a season of giving, of love, of charity, and of peace, things he held dearly to himself.

As a Christian, however, Christmas takes on an added bit of significance, as it is the time of year we celebrate the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The advent of Christ is perhaps the greatest miracle in the Bible, for it is God coming down to us in the form of a babe lying in a manger to humble servants. This was prophesied by Isaiah the Prophet in Isaiah 9, which reads: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (KJV). Furthermore, the Angel Gabriel says his name shall be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Indeed, God is with us even this day ruling the hearts of his people from Heaven.

The Advent of Christ signifies the fullness of time in which God intervenes into human history in a way did not before, with the express purpose of providing a way of salvation for fallen and sinful people. The hope of the Gospel rests on this moment in history when Christ first came.

That humble child born to humble parents marked his ministry. Indeed, the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2 that the humility of our Lord marked him so that he, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” It is the humility of Christ up to the cross that God honored him with a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. God honors those who are humble, who consider others before themselves, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Matt. 5:3). For “humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life” (Prov. 22:4). Yes, we as Christians should seek humility as Christ himself was.

The coming of Christ as babe is a significant image of this humility, and we should seek to follow that example, as Paul teaches to have it in mind as it was in Christ (Philippians 2:5). Let this season in which we celebrate the advent Christ be a time where we as Christians seek that humble heart, where seek to serve others over against ourselves. Let humility be set in our minds as it was in Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit in prayer to help you in this way, because humility is not a natural frame of thinking for us. But, God is a great giver of gifts, and will work this mighty work in us, as in all other things, for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). Seek the Lord in this sweet time of the year!

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