The higher you are, the lower you can bend. The archangel can bend low to converse with a lowly maiden. A man can stoop to remove a thorn from the paw of his dog. But the dog cannot stoop to free the mouse from the trap. What took place in Bethlehem reminds us that God stoops low, precisely because He is the Most High. The Highest became the Humblest.
Christ humbled himself, taking on the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Phi. 2:7). The conception of Christ as a human baby, in a human mother’s womb, was the commencement of His earthly humiliation. His life, remember, is our life. His righteous obedience, is ours. His example is our call to follow. His life is the taproot from which our life is to spring. As the great devotional writer Andrew Murray put it, “The life of God which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow; it is the same almighty power that worked there, and thence onward to the resurrection, which works daily in us.” He’s quite right.
There’s a flurry of activity this time of year, in case you hadn’t noticed. Along with all the holiday hubbub comes many temptations to pride. Pride that you can buy such lavish gifts. Pride that you at least are above all this materialism. Pride that snaps at rambunctious kids. Pride that snarks on Facebook. Pride that stews over old offenses. Pride that lies in wait for new reasons to be offended.
If you are in Christ, however, His humility is yours. He’s the root from which the fruit of true humility springs. Patience towards others. Confession of wrongs done. Forgiveness for sins against you. So, how low have you stooped? It’ll only be as low as you are holy.