I had just spent about an hour of my time making dinner for my three siblings, and I saw that the dishwasher needed to be emptied. Huffing a little bit, since it seems like my work would never end, I began to empty the dishwasher, tempted to use my “chef” status as an excuse to make my siblings do it instead. In this attitude of selfish, unhappy servitude, I was nudged by the Holy Spirit. I took a deep breath as He brought to mind a sermon I recently heard about the humility of Christ at Christmas.
The Almighty God of the Universe, who according to Revelation 4, has “the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around [His] throne a rainbow that [has ] the appearance of an emerald,” who commands the sea and the dry land, who rules from everlasting to everlasting, gave up everything for us. I literally mean everything. Phillipians 2 tells us that Jesus, “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.” Jesus became a child born in the dirtiest of conditions, a stable, because his family could not find room in Bethlehem. No one came to celebrate the birth of the King of kings, the only onlookers were the animals. Then, the Lord sent angels to announce Christ’s coming….to a field full of shepherds. They could have been sent to Rome itself, or to the king of Judea to announce the birth of Jesus and make many fall in awe, but God sent the angels to the shepherds. Then, those shepherds came to Mary and Joseph and worshipped Jesus. He deserved so much more, but he chose humble himself.
In light of what Jesus did by even coming to earth, and not only that but being born in a low class in a dirty stable, how could I justify my pride? I had no more reason to be proud of my little bit of service than a two-year old does for picking a twig up off the ground. The Christmas story of humility goes farther than Jesus’ birth, Phillipians 2 continues in verse 8, “and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” We in the 21st century United States of America cannot understand the shame of the cross. It was an execution and public mocking rolled into one, and it lasted for hours, usually a whole day. Jesus did not deserve to die that way, he did not deserve to die at all, yet he chose the cross for us. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). I am a sinner, we all are, and deserving of death, but Christ took our sin upon himself so that we could be made right with God. That is amazing. It blows me away.
When I thought about all of that, I realized that any service I could do cannot compare to Christ’s humility, and it made me thankful. Christmas time is a time, for me at least, to reflect on Christ’s humility, and how undeserving I am, and how thankful that should make me. I do not deserve the gifts I get or the special moments I have any more than I deserved for the King of the universe to die in my place, unrecognized and unknown.