When people begin to follow Jesus, they are surprised by many things: His miracles, His kindness, His wisdom, His love and compassion… But one of the biggest surprises is his humility. Jesus did not behave as expected. He ate with sinners. He knelt down in the dirt and ministered to lepers, the sick, and other outcasts of society. He healed them with miracles and forgave their sins. While the rest shunned these folks, Jesus drew near and gathered them close. And Jesus showed that same humble character with his disciples. As their Rabbi, as their master one evening he stripped down and wrapped a towel around his waist and washed their feet. And they objected saying, this is not the way! But Jesus said, “yes, it is.”
It is a wondrous thing to see that same humility taught by Jesus shown to us even at the very beginning of his life, on the day of his birth. The creator of this vast universe made himself so very small and entered our world as a baby. Not a baby in a palace, or at the centre of a powerful royal family in a kingdom at the centre of the world. God chose to enter the world through a poor family in a dusty backwater province of the Roman Empire. The King of the universe deserved the most ornate golden cradle human hands could create, but he was born in a stable and his first bed was a feed trough. God chose that place. He chose to humble himself. And it was from those humble beginnings that His kingdom; a different kind of kingdom broke into human history.
As followers of Jesus, we find ourselves called to follow and practice that same humble example. We are learning to serve and love as Jesus did. To draw near to the hurting, the anxious, the powerless, the lonely, and the outcast to show them the simple love and kindness that Jesus shows us. In this work, we too need to be ready …to make ourselves small so that we too may enter into deep and loving relationships with those our world asks to sit on the sidelines.
…To get down onto the floor with a child who needs us.
…To stop and help someone carry a messy and heavy burden.
…To visit those in prison.
…To share warmth or a meal with someone hurting.
God began his work of renewing his people and his world in the most simple and humble of ways. He came and joined one of our families. He walked and taught in one of our communities. And if we would follow in His footsteps, then we will be a people who will go and serve in humble love and kindness wherever God sends us.