Monday, December 21, 2009

THE HUMILIATION IN THE MANGER

Philippians 2:5-11 was the basis for my sermon on Sunday. Christmas time is a time of many paradoxes, at least in my mind. We celebrate the Incarnation, as well we should, but too often we do it while wearing blinders. We do this by focusing entirely on what it means to us while failing to consider what it meant to Christ Jesus.

Our exalted view of humanity would almost seem to declare that for Jesus to become one of us was, in and of itself, a tremendous blessing for Him. Immanuel has been changed from "God with us" to God amongst gods. Dare I bring up that we have forgotten that we were made lower than the angels, no matter how little lower that may have been?(Psalm 8:5) How wretched we are to think that becoming human was a blessing in and of itself.

Imagine, if you will, a sitting President and his wife having their baby in a community center rather than Bethesda, Maryland. One might contend that it is not fitting for such to happen. Much more can you imagine the contention if the Royalty of England was born in a barn instead of a castle? But Jesus, the very Son of God, the King of Kings, the Lord of lords, the very One before whom angels bowed, was born in a stable and laid in a manger.

He took upon him the form of a servant. He came not to be served but to serve. The King came not to have His feet washed but to wash the feet of men. The King came not to have people pay taxes unto Him but instead Himself paid taxes unto Caesar. The King came not to suffer and die for any personal iniquity or sin, for He had none. Instead, He came to bear the iniquity and sin of the servants of His kingdom.

No, humanity was not a step up for Jesus but it was a step down. And the reason for Jesus' willingness to bear such humility was twofold. First, it was the Father's will. Jesus obeyed His Father. Jesus worked the works that He saw His Father do. Secondly, it was to pick up fallen man. The love of Jesus and the righteousness of Jesus worked together to do for man what man could not do for himself.

While the manger was about us, we MUST NOT forget what that meant for Christ Jesus. This Christmas as you celebrate what Jesus did for you, consider what that meant for Jesus. Ponder, as Mary did with so many things, what the manger truly means. Consider the humiliation in the manger. Then, as Paul said, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Merry Christmas

2 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

Happy New Year, Luke.

Russ

thekingpin68

satire and theology

Luke said...

Thanks Russ, you too. Nice to meet you by the way.