The tree is lit. The packages are wrapped. The cards are coming. The food is piled up. The plans for the holiday are laid.
Sigh. I really love Christmas.
In the midst of the season this year, I have decided I have a new favorite Christmas verse. No it is not in Luke 2, although I love Luke 2. I love "The Charlie Brown Christmas" when Linus recites it. I love reading Luke 2 on Christmas Day. But that is not my favorite this year.
And my favorite Christmas verse is not found in any of the Gospels. My favorite Christmas verse is found in Philippians.
"...although He existed in the form of God, (He) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of man...humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross." ~Philippians 2:6-8
Just think of the implications of that verse. Just think of what it reveals about the Savior of the world. Just think of how much He must love us to have given up so much, to have humbled Himself so greatly, and to have obeyed the Father to the point of death.
Jesus- who is King of Kings....humbled Himself to be born to a simple teenage girl.
Jesus- who created every animal....humbled Himself to being born in an animal's stable.
Jesus- who is the Bread of Life....humbled himself to needing to be feed by His own creation.
Jesus- the only One who can change us....humbled himself to needing to be changed.
Jesus- who reigns in the throne room of all creation....humbled Himself to be raised in a no-account village in a small, poor country that was ruled by a pagan empire.
Jesus- who could call Heaven down to His aid....humbled Himself to be chased from town as a baby to flee King Herod's attempted destruction.
Jesus- who is omniscient....humbled Himself to be taught by others.
Jesus- who was, and is, and is to come....humbled Himself for 33 years to be constrained by time- to have to get up in the morning, go to bed at night, to live with a clock, and to feel tired.
Jesus- who is Ruler of all creation....became Servant of All and showed it by getting on His hands and knees and washing His disciples feet.
Jesus- who is the Word....humbled Himself to be in a position to have His words misconstrued, twisted, and used against Him.
Jesus- who is the Judge of the Universe....humbled Himself to being brought before a pagan judge and offered no defense.
Jesus- who has legions of angels at His command....humbled Himself to be arrested in the night, drug through town, falsely accused, beaten, mistreated, stripped, abused, mocked and ultimately crucified.
Jesus- who is Love....humbled Himself to be subjected to lies, insults, plots, abuse, and finally an unjust punishment...death on the cross.
I love Christmas.
And I love manger scenes.
Because they are the picture of the moment of Love Come Down.
Of God taking flesh and dwelling among us.
Of the greatest love imaginable.
But this Christmas, don't forget the point of the manger.
The point of the manger is the cross!
And the point of the manger is the love and forgiveness your Creator God has for you!
He loves you and me so much HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND TOOK ON FLESH!
That is the greatest news of all!
And to go with my new favorite Christmas verse, here is my new favorite Christmas song. Hope you enjoy it....and MERRY CHRISTMAS!