Artwork by Lindsay S.

Philippians 2: 5-11

by Rob & Bettina Sandford

We are usually shocked to discover that someone could ascend to fame from such humble beginnings as, for example, the poor, self-educated lawyer who became the 16th President of the United States. We are just as shocked when someone who has succeeded professionally decides to give it up for a path of lowly service far from home. The story of Albert Schweitzer comes to mind.

In Philippians 2:5-11 Paul gives an important clue to understanding the incarnation and genuine humility. He says that being found in human form, Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death. It is difficult to imagine Jesus ever being sick, having ordinary human problems or any doubts, but the incarnation process means that he was fully human and that he did not immediately know his father’s whole plan for his life.

He had to learn obedience everyday just like we do! As He discovered his father’s perfect plan, he passed it on to his followers. He said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). So, the question is: how much have we humbled ourselves in our quest to know God intimately and to be obedient to his call? Genuine humility is not something we can strive for, but something we receive as we begin to lose our little self-advancing plans for the sake of the enormous world-redeeming plans of God.

Let us celebrate the incarnation today!