Daily Devotion 22 December 2020
John 3: 16 ‘Christmas in One Verse’
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Philippians 2: 5-8 ‘The Humility of Christ’
5 Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross
Many years ago we went out carol singing, leaving our mischievous little cocker spaniel alone at home. She seized the opportunity to investigate the presents under the Christmas tree and with her remarkable sense of smell identified one she particularly fancied – intended for my late husband – which she successfully unwrapped. We arrived home to find a lot of wrapping paper strewn around, an empty liqueur chocolate box and one very happy but totally squiffy little dog staggering about! Fortunately there were no long-term ill-effects.
There are so many gifts around at this season, for our loved ones and friends, even for our pets. For many children today that, sadly, is all they know about Christmas. I’ve heard of some agonizing this year over whether the new Covid rules will stop Father Christmas delivering presents!
However for Christians in Advent there is something much more special as we prepare for the birth of our Lord. Every year the Christ Child is born again for each of us. Indeed for everyone on earth, though they don’t all know it yet, Jesus is the greatest gift there is.
God’s gift to humanity came to us in the humblest of wrappings. Jesus wasn’t born in a royal palace, he was born in a stable and was laid in a feeding trough. Yet that doesn’t in any way diminish the significance of his birth. If anything, it helps us understand better the great sacrifice God made for us, “being born in human likeness…emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,” as we read in Philippians 2:7.
At Christmas, we give gifts to selected people, those whom we care especially about perhaps, or who have helped us over the past year. God’s gift is for everyone, regardless. He doesn’t give it to us because we deserve it. In fact, it is just the opposite. The Bible tells us, ‘God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us’. (Romans 5:8).
Let us make sure this year that we really do appreciate the immensity of God’s gift to us at Christmas.
Lord Jesus Christ,
May we never lose a sense of wonder
and of gratitude
for the great gift of your incarnation.
May the anticipation of your coming
absorb us throughout this holy time
leading up to Christmas.
Help us always to remember
that God’s gift at Christmas
lasts our whole life through. Amen.
Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Ann Caffyn.
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