Turning Our Hearts Towards Advent

Merry Christmas! Signs of the season are everywhere, Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Giving Tuesday! Best discount of the season, we’ll match your donation…the list goes on and on.

I’m reminded today that when God chose to give humanity a sign of His glory and power, a sign of His love and mercy, a sign of His gift of the Gospel of Salvation…He chose no splashy billboards, no glitzy ads, no fanfare, pomp or circumstance…but rather, a young girl – a virgin, no less – and a baby, helpless and frail.

How very different God is from us! The Bible puts it this way:

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)

Immanuel means “God with us.” To evidence His presence, God gave us a sign of His own humility to show us His power and glory:

“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! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 NIV (Emphasis mine)

Where are the places this season where we can model the same humility as Christ? How can we make ourselves nothing, becoming a servant to the least, the lost and the lonely? When we model the humility and servanthood of Christ, we become a sign to all people of God’s love, mercy and grace. We become a beautiful picture in stark contrast to the crass commercialism of our world. When we do this, people will see Jesus through us.

Therefore the Lord himself gave them a sign: you.

May God bless you as you bless others this holiday season, Merry Christmas.

Posted in From the Pastor's Desk.