Christmas in the Book of Philippians

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 harking angels, trembling angels, or awe-filled parents. But you are front and center, above and throughout Paul’s account of your first Advent.

Thank you for coming into our broken, yet beloved world. It’s the world you created, sustain by your word, and will make new one Day. Thank you for coming to us, that you might live and die for us. You obeyed God’s Law perfectly and took our judgment fully. You came to save us from our sins. Hallelujah!

O holy and profoundly glorious mystery: Though you never ceased being God, you truly became man—the God-man, the fulfiller of every God-promise; the king of the cosmos cradled in a stable.

Prophets pondered the timing of your coming; angels, on tiptoe-with-joy, longed for it (1 Pet. 1:12). We are the beneficiaries. 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 Wednesday. 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 2019. So very Amen we pray, in your wonderful and merciful name.