As a child, I experienced Christmas as a magical season. It was full of beauty and marvelous edibles, and as I endlessly examined every package under the tree with my name, time seemed to stand still. Would the day ever come?

So when I heard Jesus’ amazing statement: It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35b), I couldn’t quite buy it. Even now, I have trouble. Yes, I like to give gifts, but I really, really still like to receive them! Like so many of Jesus’ teachings in Scripture, this verse seems topsy-turvy!

But that’s just it. Jesus came to turn everything upside down! The first shall be last. If you want to be great, become a servant. Blessed are the poor in spirit. And the greatest reversal of all is depicted in Philippians 2. Not considering his deity something to be grasped, Jesus willingly gave up position, authority, power, and prestige to become a servant.

It is unfathomable that the Maker of light would enclose himself in a young virgin’s dark womb. That the all-powerful God would submit to the ordeal of birth to become a helpless, wailing infant in the cold of a Palestine night.

Our Lord’s teaching often seems paradoxical in our experience, but this Christmas let us ask for grace to understand more completely why he came for us and all he gave up for us. This year, let’s look to the Giver and celebrate an upside-down Christmas!

Lord Jesus, You gave up everything to save me from sin and death so I could live forever with you. Help me to receive your amazing gift with deep gratitude and share this unfathomable blessing with others this Christmas.

Throughout This Day: Invite God to show you how you or your family can turn Christmas upside down this year by blessing someone in deep need.

Tags: Advent 2020 Daily Devotional Philippians 2
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