Monday, December 02, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas - Day 1

Last year I shared a verse and thought about Christmas every day in December.  This year, I'd like to keep up the tradition, but change it up a bit.
The Hubs and I have talked about the commercialism of Christmas - it is a HUGE gift giving holiday, but we want to make sure we are focusing on more.  While I still plan to shop for loved ones and find the perfect gift, I look forward to spreading the love in many other ways.  I've been inspired by other bloggers who are sharing 25 days of kindness and hope to incorporate some of their ideas into my December.
December 1 - Our preacher shared a great lesson our of Hebrews 2 to kick off the Christmas season. You can listen to it here, if you would like.
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?
 You made them a little lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the deviland free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
In this Christmas season, I loved reading the verse highlighted above. You know how you can read the same passage over and over and something suddenly stands out?  I had that happen at church.  When God created us, He placed us just below the angels.  He crowned us with glory and put everything at our feet.
What an honor!
Angels are beautiful celestial beings - in my mind.  While I've never actually knowingly seen one, I do believe in their existence.  Who knows?  Maybe I've entertained an angel or two - especially on a mission trip!

What an honor to be created and loved by Him!
A little further down, we see the correlation between our own humanity and the humanity of Jesus.  He placed himself a little below the angels.
While angels are beautiful celestial beings - God is SO MUCH MORE.  Yet, he humbled himself to be a little lower than the angels.
Why would he do that?
For YOU, for ME.  Humbling!
So, in this season of Advent, some will call it, I choose to identify with the humanity of Jesus.  I choose to know him more by learning how he is like us - and I choose to be humbled by Him.

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