In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)
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 [b] 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!
The Sacrifice of Christmas
Sacrifice – we usually associate sacrifice with Good Friday and Easter, but I want to call attention to another day of sacrifice – Christmas, the birthday of Christ. You say, “He didn’t sacrifice himself for our sins on Christmas, Pastor.” No, He didn’t but He gave up everything to come and be the atoning sacrifice for our sins on Good Friday thirty-three years later.
You may be wondering what did He give up? Here in Philippians 2:6, Paul tells us He gave up heaven and all His glory there.
Why? Because he didn’t consider equality with God the Father as something that only He should get an advantage from nor did he consider it something to be held onto only for Him. He was fully God and felt no necessity to cling to the honor and privilege that were his as God’s Son. In other words, He left his glory in heaven and abstained from using his majesty except when it pleased him on earth. But He never lost his majesty. Rather, he “made himself nothing” in the service of others.
May we remember how He gave up Heaven and came for us this Christmas. Ultimately, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death on the cross. There he satisfied God’s wrath against our sins so that by faith in Him alone, we are justified. Now, our sins are forgiven and we will spend eternity with Him, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and all believers who have gone before us.
May we, as He did, serve others this Christmas and not look to our own interests but to the interests of others.
Pastor Bruce Grentz
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church