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Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:7‭-‬8 NLT

It seems humankind is constantly being driven by the ideals of new, more, and improved. We spend time and energy getting to that next level in our careers to have more money to buy more things. When the most recent iPhone or the bigger smart TV comes out, we line up to get them. Even something as simple as breakfast cereal is advertised as "new and improved," as if something was wrong with the original. In the words of philosopher George Carlin, we are driven to get more “stuff.”

Jesus Christ moved in the other direction, relinquishing the more to be less. The same God who created us gave up his divinity to save us from the mess we made.

He was born away from his parent's home in humble surroundings, then had to flee with them to a foreign land while King Herod sought to kill him. Giving up the promise of stability as a carpenter with a home, family, and community, instead, he became a migrant preacher wandering from place to place without a known place to lay his head. After the verbal abuse and beatings, the final indignity was to die in the way of the worst criminals, hung on a cross for all to witness. Each step of his life was becoming less, so we might have more.

As Christ's followers in this modern narcissistic world of more, we are challenged to become less. To reject the constant temptations of consumerism and the secular cravings for more–spending less of our time and money–to grow spiritually. Think of how we could spend those energies and resources in ministry–spreading the gospel, feeding the hungry, and caring for the prisoner. In the becoming less, our focus is lifted from the world of more made by humankind to the vision of God our creator.

God, we thank you for coming in the human form of Jesus. You left behind the privileges of heaven to join your creation. We did nothing to earn or deserve this, but you came purely from love and desire to save us. We confess we sometimes fall for the temptation of the "new, more, and improved." Father, free us from this trap of the secular more, denying ourselves and desiring less to become more like Jesus. Help us to look at all we have with new eyes and think of how we can use these things and our time to promote your kingdom on Earth. We pray in the name of your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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