Nativity Detail

I had the following article published in the religion column of our local paper. You’ll notice they re-titled the article. But I’m not the first author to differ with an editor 😉

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Each year, a change comes over our house the day after Thanksgiving. A tree grows in the living room bearing brightly colored, glowing fruit. Stockings march single-file onto the hearth. Various nooks and crannies are surprised to find snowmen and Santas loitering in them. Carols begin pouring from the family room stereo. The Christmas season has come!

At Christmastime we remember the birth of Christ. (This may or may not involve cookies). As I reflect on his birth, something occurs to me. Jesus’s sacrifice at the cross was monumental; so monumental it is easy to overlook the sacrifice of the incarnation. “Incarnation” is a 25 cent word that means Jesus (who is God) became human (John 1:1, 14). Philippians shows how the incarnation and the cross were both points on the same sacrificial trajectory:

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for his own advantage. Instead he emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in his external form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross (Php. 2:5-8).

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