Advent Devotional: Be a Servant Like Jesus

As I watched the coverage of the funeral services for President George H. W. Bush, I was struck by the depth of the feelings that people had for him.  They mentioned his faith and trust in his Savior, and spoke of his humility, kindness, gentle spirit, love for all people, and that he was a role model for how to live a full, productive, joy-filled life of service to God, family, and country.  I was reminded of Paul’s words in chapter two, verse two of his letter to the Philippians where he tells them to make his joy complete by being “like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit, and of one mind.”  He goes on to say they should do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but they should humbly value others above themselves.  They should not look to their own interests but to the interests of others, and they should have the servant mindset of Jesus who willingly came to earth in order to humble Himself before God and be obedient – even to death on the cross.

When I read these words, I find myself wondering if I could have been the servant that Jesus was.  Could I have given up the glory of Heaven to be born as a baby in a humble stable to earthly parents?  Could I have submitted myself to their authority, and later to the authority of teachers, the Roman government, and even to the financial support of women?  What about experiencing temptation? Would I have been able to withstand the forces of Satan? How would I have treated Peter when he disowned me? How many days would I have been able to endure the knowledge of what was to come when my time on earth reached its end?  What about the pain of the lashes and the torn flesh as the nails were driven into my body? The crucifixion. Devastating humiliation. Complete separation from God. He endured it all for you and for me. For the joy that was set before Him. To purchase our salvation and reconcile us to the Father.

As we celebrate Advent together, let’s remember that Christmas is about God the Father taking the initiative to send His only begotten son to offer His life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

You are loved!