In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Phil. 2:5-11
Lord Jesus, in Paul’s account of your birth, there’s no audience of animals or trembling shepherds; no guiding star or awe-filled parents. But you are front and center, above and throughout Paul’s account of your first Advent.
We praise, bless, and adore you for coming into our world, Jesus—the world you created, sustain by your word, and will make new one Day. Thank you for coming to us, for us.
What a holy, profound, eternally-awe-producing mystery: Though you never ceased being God, you truly became man—the God-man, the Fulfiller of every God-promise, incarnate Deity. You’ve done for us what we could have never done for ourselves, Jesus. You obeyed God’s Law perfectly and took our judgment fully.
Prophets pondered the timing of your coming; angels, on tiptoe-with-joy, longed for it; we are the beneficiaries of it (1 Pet. 1:12). Hallelujah! You have come to save us from our sins.
Raised as our Justifier, ascended as our Mediator, coming as our Bridegroom… what love is this, indeed? The riches of grace are ours forever. The riches of grace are ours to marinate in on this December Tuesday. The riches of grace are ours to show and share with family and friends, our neighbors and the nations.
Jesus, as Christmas Day quickly approaches, free us to think of you more highly and more often than we think of ourselves. Free us to love others as you love us—with your humility, servant-joy, and grace-full hearts. Help us keep one eye on your crib, and the other on your cross, as we celebrate Christmas. So very Amen we pray, in your wonderful and merciful name.