Read: Philippians 2:1-8
[Jesus] emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (v. 7)
Jesus was a man. Not half God, half human. Not God pretending to be human. He was a man, flesh and blood, muscle and bone, who was born into this world just like all the rest of us. With the exception of sin, Jesus experienced all the stuff you and I experience—disappointment, humiliation, doubt, anger, love. I take considerable comfort in the thought that Jesus knows what it’s like down here in the trenches of humanity—the fear, the struggle, the temptations. Jesus is no false friend who says, “I know how you feel,” but really doesn’t. Jesus knows what it’s like to be human.
In our Bible reading today, Paul tells us that being human required Jesus to humble himself completely, even to the “point of death . . . on a cross” (v. 8). Then he encourages us that when we follow Jesus, we should serve each other just as selflessly as he served us. Following his example of love and humility brings great joy.
Although we sing it as a Christmas song, the hymn “Joy to the World” describes the joy of Jesus’ second coming, not as a servant, but as a king to put all things right. However, the notes don’t go climbing up the octave. Rather, they come tumbling down. How very appropriate. At Christmas, God came down to the trenches, where you and I live. God became flesh. —Lou Lotz
Today’s Activity: Sing “Joy to the World,” and reflect on Jesus’ example of humility and service.