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Anxiety at Christmastime

Posted On December 18, 2018

Of all the Holidays, Christmas may present the best opportunity to be anxious. Frantically running from store-to-store (or clicking through online store to online store) to buy last-minute gifts you forgot about, throwing together colourful sweets for all the friend and family get-togethers, frequently checking your online banking to see how the budget is holding up, dinners with the not-so-friendly family members, stepping onto the bathroom scale each day to see if you have added any pounds from the Christmas treats, and wondering if anyone will like the gifts you bought. And we can’t forget the New Year resolutions that need to be set and the Bible reading plans that need to be chosen (and the ones that need to be finished) before January 1sst. These are a handful of the worries that circle my head as I pretend to stare peacefully at my Christmas tree.

But what if this year, we silenced our fears? What if we chose to set our minds on something greater this Christmas than these worries and chose to meditate on the joy that has come to the world? As we do, let’s begin in a place maybe you didn’t think of this Christmas—Philippians 2:1-11.

Consider Our Humble King

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV).

As I hold my new baby boy this December, I think of the birth of Jesus. Jesus—the All-Sufficient King over the universe, the Almighty God who created the world with a word—left his glory in heaven where he was worshipped day and night, to take the form of a tiny, needy baby. I fold up in shame for my pride as I consider the humility of Christ. Jesus was not forced to do this—he chose to come as an infant.

And he knew what this life would look like—he knew he would be dependent on his parents, he knew he would grow hungry and tired, be hated, betrayed, beaten, nailed to a cross, and would bear the wrath of God for the sins of every believer. And he chose to—to glorify the Father (Philippians 2:11). It was not because we were worth saving—we were filthy sinners who hated him. But he humbly took the form of a servant, being born as a baby. What humility.

In considering our lofty yet humble Saviour, let’s lift our eyes beyond the worries that tend to overwhelm us this Christmas. Take time to meditate on and contemplate the Christmas story and lyrics to hymns we sing each year. Don’t stray into autopilot as you listen to the same Bible verses and melodies, but set your mind on the things above. Consider the humble King who came down to earth. Consider the peace Christ came to bring in reconciling sinners to a holy God and let your heart be filled with peace.

Taking On Christlike Servanthood This Christmas

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Christmas is a season when we can become enthralled with our own worries of gifts, baking, decorating, family, cooking, and planning. But considering such humility from Christ, what if we took our eyes off ourselves, and looked to the interests of others. That we sought to do nothing this Christmas from selfish ambition, but in humility counted our family, friends, neighbors, and even enemies as more significant than ourselves.

This will look different for each of us. Maybe you will say no to the third Christmas party invitation you received to serve your family better. Maybe you will spend less on Christmas decorations so that you can be a better steward and giver with your money. Perhaps you will sit next to that annoying family member during the annual get-together and starting a conversation with them.

Whatever it is, let us strive to exemplify our Saviour this Christmas, becoming humble servants. Let’s leave our worries behind us as we bow in humble servitude to our King who came as a baby. Let our worries melt away under the glory of God as we highly exalted him and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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Andreas Kostenberger- The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction

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On today’s Equipping You in Grace, Dave and Dr. Andreas Kostenberger discuss strategies to read the Gospels, how the Gospels use the Old Testament and how this helps Christians read the Gospel rightly, along with advice for preaching and teaching the Gospels, along...

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