“Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;” – O Holy Night
“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 as 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 honour
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
At Christmas we celebrate Jesus moving from heaven down to earth to live among us, and to eventually die for us. He had no need to do so. He was not obliged to. It did not profit Him to move to earth. He left a life of heavenly perfection to be born to a people that for the most part didn’t want to know Him, moving from the glories of heaven to the mess of a stable. It is not a move many of us would be volunteering for.
And yet because of Jesus giving up His divine privileges we can be called the sons and daughters of God. Because the Word became flesh and moved into our neighbourhood we can know approach the throne of God not as condemned sinners but counted righteous to stand before Him. Because of the cross our sin is forgiven, our debt is paid and our eternal freedom is secured. Jesus could have easily stayed in heaven. He didn’t have to come to the manger. He didn’t have to go to the cross. He could have left us to our self-wrought fate. But He didn’t. Out of love He humbled himself. Out of love He came, leaving the throne of heaven for the lowly stable stall, with the oxen standing by. Out of love He chose the cross, He took the nails, He bore our shame, and He died in our place.
There can be only one fitting response this Christmas – to fall on your knees in worship. To bow down and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. To humble yourself and spend Christmas not in awe of the new stuff you get, but in awe of the Brother who gave His life for you. And share the message with the world, until every tongue confesses it. Until every knee is bowed. This Christmas, don’t miss the significance of it all. Don’t get blinded by tinsel and lights. Remember the One who started it all by not clinging to the easy life on a heavenly throne, but who took the position of a slave in humble obedience to God, being born in a dirty stable and dying on a cross for you and for me. Fall on your knees and worship Jesus Christ, our Saviour Lord.
[image source: http://washingtonmo.com/christmas/lyric/1003.htm]