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Nothing for Christmas

Nothing for Christmas?  I’m guessing a child has never uttered “nothing” in response to Santa’s familiar question: “What do you want for Christmas?”  Along with a lump of coal, “Nuttin’ for Christmas” has long been established as the punishment for being consigned to the “naughty list,” a sentiment popularized in 1955 by the holiday song that reached number 6 in the Billboard pop charts.


But hidden in Philippians 2 we find a simple version of the Christmas story that brings new meaning to "nothing for Christmas." 


He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 

Philippians 2:7


We think of that first Christmas as a silent and holy night.  And there we stand amazed at the glorious combination of innocence, joy and wonder of the Christmas story set in an obscure little village with an unassuming couple and ordinary little baby.  So simple and mundane, yet the darkness of our world was shattered that night by the divine announcement to a group of shunned and stunned shepherds that the baby they would find wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger, was the fulfilment of an ancient promise of Immanuel: God with us.  Isaiah 7:14 


God with us. The marvel of the miracle of Christmas.  By coming to us, the almighty God poured his fullness into the frailty of a human baby, submitting himself to the very things he created.  According to Paul in Philippians, God “made himself nothing.”  In other words, God removed his majestic robe of heavenly glory and humbly wrapped himself in the rags of our humanity.  To be with us, he became one of us.  He went on to grow up like a root out of dry ground to be pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53 


Nothing was given a name, and in that name, we find everything that matters...  Love.  Truth.  Mercy.  Grace.  Sacrifice.  Forgiveness.  Faith.  Salvation.  Life.  Peace.  Purpose.  Hope.  The name is above all names.  Jesus.


We are surrounded by the sparkle and celebration of the Christmas season.  Because of “nothing” for Christmas, the impossible became possible for everyone through faith in Jesus.  The manger revealed we are loved. The cross paid the impossible debt of our sin.  The empty tomb brought a living hope of life beyond death.  Everything from nothing.  Rejoice!

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