Christ Comes to Us to Demonstrate Humility

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!
Philippians 2:5-8

Man is made solely from humus, the earth itself, and Jesus, as God Incarnate, was at once both flesh and divine.  No one is more humble than the Creator Himself assuming His shape from the dirt He created. No one is more humble than the Son of Man, washing dirt from the feet of the disciples, including one about to betray Him.  No one is more humble than God the Father giving up His only Son in order to save us from our wretchedness.

Charles Spurgeon reminds us “the infinite becomes an infant” and “infinite majesty stoops to man’s infirmity.”  C.S. Lewis suggests “God has landed on this enemy-occupied planet in human form.”  Humility in action to become human.

As flawed and selfish mortal beings, we want to fight humility with everything we’ve got — we desire recognition, wealth, pleasure, status.  Instead, our model of humility was born in a stable, never owned anything nor came from a home village that honored Him when He visited.  It is extraordinary He willingly descended to us so we can ascend to Him; we climb from the humus of our existence to the holiness of everlasting heaven.
~Emily Gibson

Christ Comes to Bring Us Light

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
~John 12:46
The idea of light liberating the darkness comes up numerous times throughout the Bible, especially in the Beginning. It’s easy to forget how profound and amazing it is that Christ turns our personal darkness into light.
Reflecting on this verse, I remembered something that happened to me at college. Last year, my regular studying place was the floor lounge of the hall I lived on. However, for all of first semester, the overhead lights wouldn’t work, so the only lighting was a small lamp in the corner. We tried several times to get it fixed, but the maintenance guy could never figure out what was wrong. Then when I came back from Christmas break, I walked down to the lounge, and knew immediately something was different: the lights had finally been fixed.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for light as I was that moment.  That’s how I should feel every moment.
It’s easy to take light for granted. But just as I was thankful for the return of light in the floor lounge, we must be thankful for the light Christ brings. He has taken us out of the darkness of sin, and brought us into His magnificent light, a light brighter than we could ever imagine.
~Lea Gibson

Christ Comes to Prepare Us for Division

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10: 34-39

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Luke 12: 49-53

Advent is a time of celebration of peace on earth and goodwill toward men,  so we are very unprepared to hear Christ came to divide us from what and who we value.  Yet He makes clear His purpose for coming, both in Matthew and Luke:  the price of following Him involves separating ourselves from our life that was, in order to find our new life in Him.

His is not a sword of violence raised against an enemy:  Jesus immediately heals the wounded ear, demanding that we put away our swords.

Instead, like a surgeon cutting away what threatens us, He wields a spiritual sword of division that separates those who have faith from those who do not, even among family members.  Those of us who have known this kind of division in our families pray for restoration by His healing hand.

By His birth, we are on notice we will be divided.  Through His death, we are to take up the cross and follow when others turn away.  Because of His resurrection, we are given new life, whole and holy.

~Emily Gibson