Daily Lent Devotional #16 (March 24, 2011)

Philippians 2: 5-8  (New Living Translation)

5 “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

During every Easter season, we miss out if we forget about Christmas and the Incarnation (God being born on earth).  Likewise, we miss out at Christmastime if we only think about the baby in the manger apart from his mission to give his life for the souls of all God’s children who have strayed from Him.  In both seasons, we are reminded of the servant-like and selfless nature that Jesus embodied on Earth.  Though fully God, he stepped out of the halls of Heaven and became one of us, to save us.

To conclude today’s devotional, here’s some thoughts from Henri Nouwen that help us draw the amazing connection from Advent to Lent.  Also, attached in my Vodpod on this page is a video for the song “Born To Die” by Bebo Norman. We played this song during NBFMC’s Christmas Eve Service back in 2009 and I love the perspective that it gives me on Jesus’ sacrifice and love for us all:

God became a little baby. Who can be afraid of a little baby? A tiny little baby is completely dependent on its parents, nurses, and caregivers. Yes, God wanted to become so powerless as to be unable to eat or drink, walk or talk, play or work without many people’s help. Yes, God became dependent on human beings to grow up and live among us and proclaim the good news. Yes, indeed, God chose to become so powerless that the realization of God’s own mission among us became completely dependent on us. How can we fear a baby we rock in our arms, how can we look up to a baby that is so little and fragile, how can we be envious of a baby who only smiles at us in response to our tenderness? That’s the mystery of the incarnation. God became human, in no way different from other human beings, to break through the walls of power in total weakness.

That’s the story of Jesus.  And how did that story end?

It ended on a cross, where the same human person hangs naked with nails through his hands and feet. The powerlessness of the manger has become the powerlessness of the cross. People jeer at him, laugh at him, spit in his face, and shout: “He saved others; he cannot save himself! He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him” (Matt. 27:42). He hangs there, his flesh tom apart by lead-filled whips, his heart broken by the rejection of his friends and abuse from his enemies, his mind tortured by anguish, his spirit shrouded in the darkness of abandonment—total weakness, total powerlessness. That’s how God chose to reveal to us the divine love.


Pastor Josh

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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