Can we get real? Sometimes it’s a lot easier and more appealing to only think about ourselves.
That's uncomfortable to admit, but when we get really honest, we see that we’d rather look out for ourselves, do what we want, and arrange our lives in a way that’s most convenient for us.
It’s so easy for our families, our priorities, and our plans to become the centre of our worlds.
Not really a warm and fuzzy thought for an Advent devotional, is it?
But Christmas is a beautiful time to check in on how we’re doing with humility and surrender. As we consider Christ’s incarnation, the ultimate act of humility and surrender, we are invited to have the same mindset as Christ. Christ, who being God, had every reason to lord that power over us, but instead, chose humility, servanthood, and humanity.
Paul, the writer of Philippians, focuses attention on Christ's example of humility.
He is divine, but He chose flesh.
He experiences perfect, intimate community with the Trinity, but He chose an earthly family.
He is God, but He chose to enter into the broken creation to be with us and make all things new.
As this season calls us to generosity, it’s important to humble ourselves with our knees bent before Lord Jesus and enter into the brokenness of the world to bring hope, redemption, restoration, and love.
This humility is something beautifully demonstrated in a church planted in the middle of a hurting city in Thailand that partners with Compassion. The city of Mae Sot is a beautiful part of the world that holds a gruesome secret. Here, many children are slaves, working in terrible conditions against their will.
But the church intentionally moved into the city to be a beacon of hope. The staff are passionate about protecting the children of their community. They offer programs and opportunities for children and youth, showing them a path away from the exploitation.
Theirs is the kind of knee-bent surrender and Christ-like incarnation in their community that can inspire us to the same posture as we move closer to Christmas.
Lord, I confess that sometimes self-centredness is the easier choice, and I make that choice far too often. I’m sorry. Help me to choose surrender. I want to approach your throne, which was once a humble manger, on bended knee with the same humility that you exemplified in your incarnation.
May that humble surrender lead to transformation, not only in my own life, but in my community, too.