We all love Dickens’ Christmas Carol. In part because it reminds us that Christmas is a season for remembering a proper attitude. An attitude of service toward others. Of charity and mercy. It is an annual opportunity to remember to “keep Christmas in our hearts” all year round.
This verse commands us to copy the attitude Jesus had when He left heaven to came to earth. We could call it the “advent attitude”.
“Have this mind which was also in Christ Jesus” tells us to choose the same perspective Jesus chose when He emptied Himself of the riches of heaven to take on the poverty of earth. To set aside comfort for service. To set aside rights in order to serve and to love in the trenches.
He humbled Himself by taking on the form of human flesh. But this was not without aim. He “became obedient to the point of death” because of the joy set before Him. Because of His obedience, He gained the approval of His Father, who “highly exalted” Jesus, and elevated His human name above every name.
And God invites us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus has offered to share His throne to all believers who “overcome” as He overcame (Rev 3:21). To elevate the name of all who set aside self and walk in the humility of obedience.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”
– Philippians 2:5-9
Christmas is one of the most clear opportunities to lean into the reality of Christ in the world. During this Advent season, Yellow Balloons invites you into a five-part devotional series on the meaning, value, and opportunity of Christmas. We pray it awakens you to the truth and beauty of Jesus Christ.