Empty at Christmas

Philippians 2:6-8 “Though He was in the form of God, He 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 the plan fails, when money is tight, when those other parents are able to do more for their kids than you can for your own, it’s easy to be discouraged and lose sight of the true reason for the season.

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

Maybe it sounds strange to you to associate Christmas with emptiness. The normal thing, especially in western cultures, is to take inventory of all that we have and all that we want to have, but don’t. Even giving gifts to others, as selfless as that can be, can at times feed our sinful pride if we do it for the praise of men.

Christmas is about the glory of God; His Son, Jesus, His coming, dying and raising from the grave to bring victory to His people.

What is it that makes Christmas so beautiful?

It’s that the Son of God was totally emptied in order to come and save us from our sins.

He, for a time, was dependent on a mother’s care and a father’s provision. He lived with little in His pocket and barely a place to lay His head. Through His emptiness and His obedience we are made full.

So maybe you have very little this year. Maybe the ones you love won’t be receiving much from you in the way of beautifully wrapped packages.  Do not fret.  You are in the good company of Jesus. Perhaps you do have plenty to give to others this year. Giving those carefully chosen gifts with the right attitude would not be wrong in the least.  Just be sure your gifts are given in such a way as to never distract from the greater honor going to Jesus.

Make your aim this Christmas season, and always, to glorify the giver of eternal life and magnify His Gift as the one that truly matters. 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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