Opening Prayer

Light of the World, today I celebrate your birth and thank you for your presence in my life. Grant that your light would shine through me to bless those around me.


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

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  1. Philippians 2:6 Or in the form of
  2. Philippians 2:7 Or the form

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


“Hark! the herald angels sing, / ‘Glory to the newborn King.’”1 Spend time today worshipping your King, Jesus.

Think Further

These verses are not often read at this time of year, yet they are perfect for Christmas Day. The passage is shaped like a deep, steep-sided valley. God’s Son descends into the valley. The one who is in ‘very nature’ God becomes in ‘very nature’ man, a servant (vs 6,7). The phrases used by Paul show that Jesus wasn’t pretending: the incarnation really happened. He was both fully God and fully man. If he had been born in a palace, that would have been extraordinary enough; yet he goes even lower for he comes as a ‘servant,’ born in a stable (more likely a cave)2 in an outpost of the Roman Empire, wrapped tightly and laid in an animal’s feeding trough, unable to feed himself, clothe himself, or defend himself from attack. How the angels must have wondered and worshipped. Today let us join them. There is even more, for Jesus descends further. He experiences death, a sinner’s death on a cross (v 8)! The bottom of this valley is dark and lonely. However, this is not the end of the story, for God the Father lifts the Son out of the valley onto the heights through his resurrection and exaltation. These verses, sometimes known as the ‘Carmen Christi’ or ‘Hymn to Christ,’ call us to worship him.

Even so, we easily miss Paul’s overriding purpose. He writes not primarily to inspire us to praise. First and foremost, he wants us to live like Christ; we are to serve others in humility, as he did (vs 5,7). There may be an immediate application on Christmas Day; sometimes Christmas with extended family can be chaotic and tense! If this is your situation, may you reflect something of Christ. As you do this, remember that in his time God will lift you up too.


However you spend this most special day, know that Jesus descended into the valley for you. Bow before him, the incarnate Son of God.

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, as I remember your lowly infant birth today, I thank you that I can look forward to your return as conquering King.

Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by kingstar

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