Summary: All the major players in the Christmas story -- except Herod -- were noted for their humility. Let us take note and showcase humility in our lives.
Have Yourselves A Humble Little Christmas
1. Many people contemplate the subject of humility.
• What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself. ~ Abraham Lincoln
• The graveyards are full of indispensable men. ~ Charles De Gaulle
• Too much humility is pride. ~ German Proverb
• Don't be humble, you're not that great. ~ Golda Meir
• When you're as great as I am, it's hard to be humble. ~ Muhammad Ali
• Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. ~ St. Augustine
2. There are many definitions of humility, such as a balance picture of oneself, or choosing to remind oneself of his/her weaknesses, but my preferred way to define humility is simply a lack of arrogance.
3. Christmas is a time to celebrate, but it is also that time of year when we think about and enjoy others. And, while we might enjoy the occasional company of the flamboyant, it is the humble people who bring us the most long-term joy.
6. Right from the beginning, Christmas has been connected to humility.
Main Idea: All the major players in the Christmas story -- except Herod -- were noted for their humility. Let us take note and showcase humility in our lives.
I. Take the CASES of Two Jewish Mothers-to-be (Luke 1:39-56)
A. Mary visit ELIZABETH (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, but Elizabeth older
4. Elizabeth offered Mary much needed SUPPORT
B. Mary's PROPHETIC Praise (1:46-55)
1. The Theme: God EXALTS the humble and humbles the proud
• Reversal of fortune motif
• Over 15 quotations from First Testament
• Mary was fluent as were most Jewish girls
2. Miryam HERSELF is a case of God exalting the humble (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: all the key players were all humble: The Son of God, Miryam, Elisheva, and Yosef were prime examples of humility!
II. The Humility of the INCARNATION (Phil. 2:5 -11)
A. God the Son EMPTIED Himself for Us
—explain the kenosis
B. He HUMBLED Himself to exalt us
Humility is not a sign of weakness; the ultimate sign of strength. When you are free to love others apart from worry over how you are viewed, you are strong indeed.
C. The Father then EXALTS the Son
A midrash on Isaiah 45:23, “By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ’To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’”
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, RETAIN Humility, DISCARD Pride and Arrogance (Philippians 2:3-4)
A. Trash DEMANDING attitudes
1. Every person has to sometimes put their foot down
2. But an attitude of demandingness is a relationship killer
3. It can also be a sinful impatience with God
B. Trash PERFECTIONISM
God does what he does perfectly, but he is not a perfectionist. If God were a perfectionist, he would never mess with us. He makes many concessions.
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."
C. Trash relational COMPETITIVENESS
Mary and Elizabeth did not compete to see which baby was cuter. Mary did not taunt Elizabeth that her baby was only the herald of the Messiah baby.
Competitiveness is good for sports, mixed for business, but a killer for relationships.
D. Retain EMPATHY
Empathy means putting yourselves in the shoes of others, to see things from their perspective and ask how it "feels" to be them.
E. Retain COMPASSION
Like the Good Samaritan, compassion means feeling, considering, and helping.
F. Retain HUMILITY
When we view ourselves in a balanced way in light of God’s Word, we will go easier on others; the harsh people of this world often have an arrogance problem. The kind people of this world are more conscious of their own failings and vulnerability.
We need a new Christmas carol: Have Yourselves a Humble Little Christmas!