Archive for December 12th, 2006

God, Made Humble

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Today’s scripture: Philippians 2:1-8 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Squire):

Have you ever thought about what the first Christmas was really like? I mean, really like?

We have our Christmas card images, with Mary sitting serenely, adoring the Child, while Joseph looks on. In the “sanitized” version in my head, the animals in the barn are all played by Muppet camels and cows, who sing the baby to sleep with a soothing lullaby, accompanied by the little drummer boy. The ox and lamb kept time, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.

The story has been retold so many times — and so loosely — that we don’t grasp how unpleasant it all probably was.

Joseph and Mary — who was nine months pregnant — had been traveling for days at the order of the Roman government. There were no planes, trains, or automobiles to make their journey more bearable.

Apparently they didn’t have friends or family in Bethlehem who could take them in. They were homeless in an unfamiliar town, with no one at all they could turn to for support. There was “no place for them in the inn”, so they made do with a barn.

Ever been in a barn? It’s not the ideal place to give birth. Let’s just say, it’s a good thing the Christmas cards aren’t scratch ‘n’ sniff.

We glamorize and sanitize our images of Christmas, but the reality is much humbler, much cruder, much more on the margins of society than we probably want to think about. Jesus “emptied Himself” — not only of His divine privilege, but of any sort of human privilege, too.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…

Thought for the day: Jesus, let me learn from your example of humility. Thank you, for what You gave up for us.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Jesus MCC’s Children’s Church Team.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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