Focus on Unity and Humility
Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year – especially as a kid. One of the traditions we had growing up was to open the small stocking gifts on Christmas Eve and then the regular gifts Christmas morning. My two brothers and I would get a hodgepodge of little gifts in the stocking – like candy and gum. But one year, as we began to get a little older, our stockings were filled with deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste. It wasn’t a big deal to me. But my younger brother Boo had a fit! He was so mad that he had gotten toiletries in his stocking. He pouted and carried on for what seemed like hours. The more my mom and dad tried to reason with him, the madder he got; it became comical. And as any loving big brother would do, I teased and laughed at him all night and into the next day.
We still talk about that particular Christmas today and get a few laughs, all except for Boo. I can barely remember the gifts I received as a kid over the years – it just goes to show you how unimportant it all is. But we still remember my brother’s selfish behavior many years later. Selfishness has become commonplace in today’s culture. We have become so obsessed with getting what we want and focusing on our own needs that we can lose focus on what is truly important – the needs of others. Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate humility as we follow the example of Jesus. He left his throne in heaven and was born in a lowly stable giving us a clear example of what true humility looks like. A wise person shared this quote: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Let’s think of ourselves less this Christmas season and on others more. Let’s focus on the real meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Birth of Jesus – Luke 2:1-20 (NLV)
In those days Caesar Augustus sent out word that the name of every person in the Roman nation must be written in the books of the nation. 2 This first writing took place while Quirinius was ruler of Syria.
3 So all the people went to their own cities to have their names written in the books of the nation. 4 Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in the country of Galilee to the town of Bethlehem. It was known as the city of David. He went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph went to have his and Mary’s names written in the books of the nation. Mary was his promised wife and soon to become a mother.
6 While they were there in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to give birth to her baby. 7 Her first son was born. She put cloth around Him and laid Him in a place where cattle are fed. There was no room for them in the place where people stay for the night. 8 In the same country there were shepherds in the fields. They were watching their flocks of sheep at night. 9 The angel of the Lord came to them. The shining-greatness of the Lord shone around them. They were very much afraid.10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. See! I bring you good news of great joy which is for all people. 11 Today, One who saves from the punishment of sin has been born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 12 There will be something special for you to see. This is the way you will know Him. You will find the Baby with cloth around Him, lying in a place where cattle are fed.”
13 At once many angels from heaven were seen, along with the angel, giving thanks to God. They were saying, 14 “Greatness and honor to our God in the highest heaven and peace on earth among men who please Him.” 15 The angels went from the shepherds back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see what has happened. The Lord has told us about this.” 16 They went fast and found Mary and Joseph. They found the Baby lying in a place where cattle are fed. 17 When they saw the Child, they told what the angel said about Him. 18 All who heard it were surprised at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary hid all these words in her heart. She thought about them much. 20 The shepherds went back full of joy. They thanked God for all they had heard and seen. It happened as the angel had told them.
“Lord, help us demonstrate great humility as we attempt to focus less on ourselves this Christmas season and more on You. Help us unify with others in the one thing that brings us together – the birth of your son, Jesus. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”