Summary: Christmas is about many things, but one strong virtue that Christmas brings to mind is humility.
Happy Are the Humble
1. Sherlock Holmes is quoted as saying, "I am not among those who count humility among the virtues."
2. We tend to think of humility and not dwelling on oneself or comparing oneself to others. Wikipedia adds this insight:
"Humility, or being humble, is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others. The opposite of humility is pride.
The term "humility" is derived from the Latin word "humilis", which is translated not only as humble but also alternatively as "low", or "from the earth", and "humus", humid, which in the past it was believed that emotions, diseases, and depressions were caused by imbalances of body waters."
3. Pomp and wealth are often associated with happiness, but humility is a better road. One of our older leaders within the church I pastored in Chicago once said something like, "Years ago, people had a lot less. But they were happier."
4. Indeed, people who are not competing with others are freer to enjoy others.
5. In a way, Christmas is that time of year when we think about and enjoy others, and humble people are a joy to be around.
6. Right from the beginning, Christmas has been connected to humilty.
Main Idea: Christmas is about many things, but one strong virtue that Christmas brings to mind is humility.
I. Take the CASES of Two Jewish Mothers-to-be (Luke 1:29-56)
A. Background: ELISHEVA Visits Miryam (1:39-45, 56)
Elisheva= God her oath
Miriam = Obstinancy, rebellion
Sometimes people do not live up to their names; Miriam, Moses’ sister, did; but most of the Mary’s in the New Testament did not…
Like the dumb guy who bought a pet zebra… named him "Spot."
1. Only these two women UNDERSTOOD one another
2. You can detect the EXCITEMENT between the lines
3. Mary’s status TOPPED Elizabeth’s
Elisheva was probably older than Miryam’s mother, if she was still alive…
4. They gave SUPPORT to one another
B. Miryam’s PROPHETIC Praise (1:46-55)
1. The Theme: God EXALTS the humble and humbles the proud
Looking for the theme is this portion called the "Magnificat," it jumped out at me: humility and how God loves it and rewards it. Over 15 quotations from the Old Testament; this could be indicative as to how well Miryam knew the Scriptures.
2. Miryam HERSELF is a case in point (46--49)
1. She gloried in God
2. She was aware of her need for a Savior
3. She was in a humble state
4. Now she would be recognized as specially blessed
3. Exalting the HUMBLE and humbling the proud is GOD’S way (50-53)
4. God will one day exalt the humbled nation of ISRAEL (54-55)
Christmas is about humility: the key players were all humble: Miryam, Elisheva, and Yosef. But event he Messiah is the prime example of humility!
II. Take the Case of the INCARNATION (Philippians 2:5 -11)
A. God the Son LIMITS Himself for Us
God the Son did not cease from being God when He became man; but He voluntarily set aside His omnipotence, His omniscience, and His omnipresence. He did NOT set aside His love, holiness, nor any of the virtues we associate with God.
B. He HUMBLES Himself to exalt us
He humbled Himself to such a massive degree to exalt us to such a high degree
In God’s economy, the way up is down; in the world, the way up is up. Look at the Hollywood stars, the politicians, and many of the famous athletes. What do you typically see, with a few exceptions? Unbridled arrogance. Not always, but mostly.
C. The Father then EXALTS the Son
The Son made no effort to exalt Himself. He stood up for Himself, but He left His final vindication to the Father.
III. This Christmas, Be Careful What You Keep and Throw Out (Philippians 2:3-4)
A. Trash DEMANDING attitudes
One thing we see in common with all the individuals in today’s sermon is their humility; demanding and a demanding spirit is usually a sign of arrogance -- or meaninglessness. We make a big noise either because we think so highly of ourselves that we measure our status by our ability to abuse others with our demands, or because we wonder whether we matter at all.
Arrogance and fear that our lives are meaningless can vacillate; some people are arrogant one minute and feel worthless another. Both instances are unhealthy. Both deny that you are somebody special because you are in God’s image OR that everyone is special because they, too, are in God’s image.
B. Trash PERFECTIONISM
Perfectionism has its place, but not when it comes to relationships…
2 Cor. 5:19, " God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."