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, there’s no stable or manger, angelic pronouncement or trembling shepherds; no guiding star or awe-filled parents, but you are front and center, above and throughout Paul’s account of your birth. We praise, bless, and adore you for coming into our world—the world you created and sustain by the power of your word. 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 Servant of the Lord, the last Adam. You’ve done for us what we could have never done for ourselves. You obeyed God’s Law perfectly and took our judgment fully.
Prophets pondered the timing of this day; 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 today. The riches of grace are ours to show and share, with family and friends, our neighbors and the nations.
Jesus, this very weekend—the last weekend of Advent, 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 humility, servant-joy, and grace-full hearts. As Christmas Day approaches, help us keep one eye on your crib, and the other on your cross. Hallelujah, what a salvation. Hallelujah, what a Savior! So very Amen we pray, in your wonderful and merciful name.