As we begin our Advent season and celebration of Christmas, I want us to recognize the significance of “miracle” that occurred for Christmas to take place. Our theme will be Miraculous Christmas. Each Sunday in Advent (and Christmas Eve) we will be treated to the delights of the Word of God in five different miracles: Miracle of the Moment (Dec. 2); Miracle of the Message (Dec. 9); Miracle of the Method (Dec. 16); Miracle of the Manger (Dec. 23); and on Christmas Eve we will celebrate the Miracle of the Gift of Christmas.
Someone once asked me if we Christians were Christmas people. My first thought was “Duh! We worship Christ, don’t we?” But later, considering what I really thought provided some provoking questions of my own. Now, I put that question to you: Are we a “Christmas people?” How can we be “Christmas people?” “What does “Christmas people” even mean? True, the holiday comes once a year – amid the excitement and heightened expectation of “sugar plums dancing in our heads,” but when you think about it, being identified as a “Christmas person” actually means to identify with the Christ of Christmas. How can I do that – I mean, beyond the obvious as a believer?
Identifying with someone means you have come to know him or her so well that you share similar feelings and possess the quality of sameness in attitude and demeanor. You have empathy. Philippians 2:5-11 is one of the most important declarations of Christ’s deity and humanity in the Bible. This passage helps us understand what it means to actually be a “Christmas person” because we are encouraged to model our thoughts and
behaviors after the Christ of Christmas. As you read these thoughts written by Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi, think about what it means to fully identify with the Christmas Christ:
Is there any encouragement from belonging
to Christ? Any comfort from his Love? Any
fellowship together in the Spirit? Then make
me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly
with each other, loving one another, and
working together with one mind and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than
yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own
interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ
Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not
think of equality with God as something to
cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine
privileges; He took the humble position of a
slave and was born a human being. When He
appeared in human form, He humbled
Himself in obedience to God and died a
criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God
elevated Him to the place of highest honor
and gave Him the name above all names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow, in heaven and on earth . . . and
every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of the Father.
Jesus added humanity to His deity, not ceasing to be God, but surrendering the independent use of His divine powers and the right to manifest His own glory as God. To be a “Christmas people” we must make Christ our model and humble ourselves by thinking of others and being willing to sacrifice our own desires for fellowship with others as the attitude of Christ who gave Himself for us.