Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Unwrapping the Gift of Humility

Most of us are busy preparing to celebrate Christmas next week.  Shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, addressing Christmas cards, planning visits, etc. take up much of our time and brain power.  Christmas is something to be celebrated!  Our Savior, came to Earth, and was born to save us.  We rejoice as we remember the miracle of Christ’s birth.

The aspect of Christ’s birth that really strikes me is the humility of it.  It really isn’t one that is focused on all that often.  We know the story so well, that maybe we forget just how amazing it really is.  When parents begin to raise their children, we want them to be filled with self-confidence and strength, but do we think about nurturing humility in them?  The world sees humility as weakness.  Who wants their child to be perceived as weak?  No one.  We teach our children and perhaps, even ourselves, not to roll over and play dead, but to stand up for ourselves.  While we do that, we are to be Christ like, and Christ was the epitome of humility on Earth.

Let’s look at some examples of this:
  • ·         Jesus had been surrounded by perfection and beauty in the presence of God, and yet he descended here to be born in a dirty animal feeding trough.
  • ·         His mother was young, and unmarried from an obscure town.  Mary was not a prominent citizen from a royal family.  Being  a child conceived out of wedlock was scandalous in that time.  Yet, our Savior chose to come in this way.
  • ·         When King Herod heard that a king had been born in Bethlehem, he killed all of the children there two years old and under.  This wasn’t exactly a peaceful situation that He chose to come into.

These are very different circumstances than the ones that detail the recent birth of the royal baby in England.  Why would the King of Kings choose this?  It’s baffling.  His humility continued throughout His life.  He chose to be a servant. 

Karen shares the following story:
I was the Director of Operations for a big church.  One morning I was at work at 5 am to set up for voting.  The night before, we had a stopped up toilet in the men’s room. Yuck!  We called a plumber and he fixed it.  I went to check on it that morning.  He had fixed it all right, but I found a mess.  He had sloshed the “contents” all over the walls and floor.  I had to clean it.  I couln’t ask someone else to clean, even if there had been someone else to ask.  I got out the rubber gloves and scrubbed someone else’s excrement from the toilet, walls, and floor…but I moaned, groaned, complained and whined the whole time. 
Then, BAM! Suddenly, God spoke to me in a way that made me laugh and then it made me cry.  On the floor, on my knees, I heard Him say, ‘Karen, if you are going to keep seeking the world’s definition of greatness, you are going to keep finding yourself cleaning up someone else’s “contents”.’

Humility isn’t being weak.  It’s being a part of a kingdom where our lives are not based on what we can do, but what God can do through us, and how we can serve Him and other people as we strive to show love. 

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, let’s remember the sacrifice that He made in coming here to save us, choosing to serve and continually cleaning up our messes.
Help us remember the miracle that You provided for us through the physical birth of Your Son.  Open our eyes to the joy of giving without receiving, the blessing of lifting up others in praise, the excitement of watching others succeed, the beauty in humility and the power in servant hood.

Passages to Ponder:
James 4:7- So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Matthew 20:28- For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.
I Peter 5:6- So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Kathy Derda and Kim McClure

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