Isaiah 59:15b-21 Phil. 2:5-11
This passage from Philippians beautifully expresses the humility of Christ and Paul’s admonition to live humbly ourselves. But if Jesus, the Son of God, “made himself nothing” and was obedient even to death on the cross, how are we to think and act? We are taught as children to live with confidence and determination, and to work hard to support our families and our community. Are these teachings in conflict with humility? I think not. Paul teaches us in other passages that we are called to live life exuberantly and joyfully in the service of others . Jesus teaches us not to bury our talents but to use them for God’s purposes. This work requires diligence, sacrifice and determination, and real confidence proceeds only from a sense that one is some how working in concert with God’s will. But we must do this work with the humility that grows from our recognition that we do not know God’s will for us perfectly, and that God values and treasures every human being equally. And how can anything we might acquire or do be more important than the work and sacrifice of the human being born in a manger in Bethlehem on Christmas morning?
Lord, may your Spirit guide us in living humbly, sacrificially and joyfully in the knowledge and love of Christ.
Listen to Clarke read his Advent meditation and prayer: