Empty at Christmas

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

Philippians 2:6-8 “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross 

The right Christmas mindset is to have the mind of Christ, to be humble, “poor in spirit” and empty as He was empty. The right kind of empty makes all the difference.  Many are sad this time of year because their plan is to do something great instead of simply focusing on the One who is great. When that plan fails, when money is tight, when other parents are able to do more for their kids than you can, it’s easy to to get down and lose sight of the true reason for the season.

Christmas is not a time to “show your stuff”. It’s not even about giving really. It’s about Jesus, the single greatest gift ever given among men. It’s a time to declare that He, Jesus Christ, has filled your life with Himself. It’s the Christian’s opportunity to showcase that Jesus was emptied to make us full, shamed so we could be clothed and torn so that we could be made whole. He was mocked, forsaken by His Father and laid all glory aside to purchase for us the most costly gift of all, eternal life.

You may think it strange to associate Christmas with emptiness at all. The norm is to take inventory of all that we have and all that we want to have. Sadly, even our giving to others can feed our sinful pride when we do it simply for the praises of men.  We have to remember that what is most important is the glory of God. The culmination of this glory is His Son, Jesus; His coming, dying and His raising from the grave to bring victory to His people.

What really makes Christmas so beautiful? It’s the fact that the Son of God was totally emptied. He, for a time, was dependent on a mothers care and a fathers provision. He lived with little in His pocket and barely a place to lay His head. Through His emptiness and His obedience we can know real fullness.

Maybe you have very little this year and the ones you love may not receive much in the way of beautifully wrapped packages.  In this, do not fret.  You are in the company of Jesus who was also empty at His birth and through His life. His fullness was in doing the will of the Father.

Make your aim this Christmas and this year to glorify the giver of eternal life and magnify His gift as the one that truly matters.  Maybe you do have plenty to give this year and to give those carefully chosen gifts with love and in the right attitude would not be wrong.  But be sure your gifts are displayed in such a way as to never give them more honor than Jesus Himself.  May you be filled and abound this year with all that is yours in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:8-11For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

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