Recognizing The Amazing Humility of Advent

Advent is a perfect time to stop—in the midst of much crazy busyness—and reflect on who and why we celebrate at Christmas.

Edith Schaeffer was coming to my house.

I had read most everything she had written.. I considered her a mentor without ever meeting her. She had had significant impact on my spiritual perceptions. I was grateful.

Then I heard she would be speaking at a conference where I lived. Of course I would go. Possibly Vonette Bright would have a reception for her—and I could meet her.

True confession: I prayed Vonette would not be able to host the reception and it would be held next door at my home! My prayers were answered. Edith was a guest in my home. She came, signed my guest book with her traditional mountain sketch—and stayed to chat with me.

Surely she had humbled herself to enter my world.

How much more did Jesus humble himself to enter our world!I can’t remember not believing in Jesus, though I didn’t truly meet Him until I was 15. I had a growing perception of what He suffered on the cross to make payment for my sins. But many years passed before I began to recognize that His sacrifice began well before the cross.It began with the amazing humility of Advent—His first coming to our earth.

Paul gives us a glimpse of this in Philippians 2.

"In your relationships with one another,

have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 

"Who, being in very nature

God did not consider equality with God something

to be used to his own advantage;" (Philippians 2:5-6)

Jesus, God Himself, did not hold on to, grasp, use his high position. He was equal to God but was willing to give up the power and prestige of that reality."...rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." (Philippians 2:7)

He made Himself nothing. No position, prestige or power. Just…nothing.

He took on the very nature of a servant. Most of us look for ways to be served rather than to serve. All the angels in glory were at His service, yet He chose to become a servant to all.

And, the most amazing truth of all: he became human. The high and holy God entered into Mary’s womb and was born as a totally dependent baby. Talk about humbling Himself.

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-- even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8)

He lived among us—just think what it is like for you to “live among” the people and challenges of our world. He endured ridicule, persecution, questioning, betrayal, abandonment—and finally death. For you. For me.

Advent. Why did He come? Why did He humble Himself?

Because of His great love for us. We had rejected the world he had given us and chosen to go our own way. But He wouldn’t let us go—He loved us too much. So began His relentless pursuit of us, to reconcile, redeem and restore us to a beautiful relationship with Him.

The entire Old Testament tells story after story of this unfailing love.

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son,…” (Galatians 4:4) Advent marks the beginning of the visible evidence to us that He has never given up. Jesus came for us.

And now we await the second Advent—when He comes again.

What about you? What does Advent mean to you?

C2016 Judy Douglass