…emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men…. therefore God has highly exalted him…. – Philippians 2:7-9
Scripture reading: Philippians 2:1-11
What is the purpose of Christmas? To stimulate the economy? To have a few days off at the end of the year? A good excuse for parties? Such would be the secular perspective.
The Bible, however, states clearly a far different purpose. God sent His eternal Son into this world so that Jesus would fully share our humanity. It was a humbling experience for the Son of God. He emptied Himself. He was born in a stable. He came into this world as the Suffering Servant of the Lord. This was necessary. Our Saviour had to experience the full burden of human existence in order to be our perfect sacrifice.
The result of all this, however, was amazing! Having accomplished His earthly ministry and having won salvation for us by His death and resurrection, now God has highly exalted him. The Saviour, Who first came into this world so humbly, is now at the Father’s right hand. He is now in glory and He will return in majesty to judge the living and the dead. His ministry, which began in humility, will culminate in glory and honour.
God grant that we, with all God’s people, will reflect upon and believe the real purpose of Christmas. That purpose is to point us to the fullness of Jesus’ work and ministry. It began with the Son of God emptying Himself in Bethlehem, taking the form of a servant in order to win our salvation. It will be fulfilled at Jesus’ glorious return.
Suggestions for prayer
May it be the prayer of your heart that Jesus will return to us quickly. Ask the Lord to make the true purpose of Christmas known to you and those around you.
Rev. Gregg V. Martin has pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces since he was ordained in 1977, and also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.