This isn’t a traditional Christmas passage, but it contains the heart of the Christmas message.
Christmas is about the birth of a baby. The birth of The Baby. The birth of God who took the humble position of a slave and died a criminal’s death.
There’s a lot to ponder here, but Paul’s primary message is that we should have the same attitude that Jesus did. The attitude that brought Him to the manger. So what is the Christmas attitude? He gave up His privileges and became humble.
My mother always made Christmas special for her children. It was a magical time with smells, tastes and sights that only appeared during that season. We strung popcorn on the tree, baked cookies and sang carols. And of course, we couldn’t wait to open presents on Christmas morning. The way we celebrated Christmas was one way I knew I was loved. I also learned to think I was special.
I am special. Not just because my parents thought so, but because God has chosen to save me. Because Jesus humbled Himself to die on the cross for me. He did it in obedience to God.
So I must be willing to give up my privileges in obedience to God. Don’t expect everything to go my way. Decorate the tree and house to please my son. Let my daughter choose the menu. Open my house to people who need to see the love of Christ, even if they’re not my favorites.
These are small ways to imitate Jesus this season. I’m sure there are much more important ways that He wants me to obey Him and ways He wants to change my attitude. So this season, I will be asking God how He wants to change my attitude to be like His. By His grace, God is already working in me, giving me the power and desire to please Him.
In the next two weeks, I’m going to be sharing with you one of the privileges God has given me recently. I’ve participated with some talented writers to author a book about a girl named Ruby whose father sends her on a quest to find pieces for a nativity scene. During her travels she learns a lot about herself and the God who loves her. Our publisher, WriteIntegrity Press, will be publishing one chapter of the book each day. I’ll post a link to the chapter each day here, along with a devotional by me or by one of the other authors. Look for my chapter next week and in the meantime, guess where I sent Ruby. I hope you enjoy the book.
Ruby Joy Buckner, cowgirl, has never left the Lone Star State, but at her father’s request, she takes her faithful canine companion and travels the world in search of Nativity pieces. As Ruby collects the pieces, she also collects a few unexpected surprises, including an awareness of the beauty in other cultures, and quite a menagerie of new friends, thanks in part to Yippee Ti Yi Yo who charms everyone they meet.
Ruby’s budding awareness of life outside Texas opens her eyes to a world of whimsy, and the Nativity pieces she collects are unusual. Will her father approve her eclectic collection … and the changes that travel brought to Ruby’s life?
Meet the author J.A. Marx.