Emptying, Obedience, Exaltation: Incarnation through the lens of Philippians 2

I really love Christmas,  but if I’m honest I often find that it can be easy to lose the wonder of the Christmas story in the romanticism and nostalgia of the season. 

On Sunday I spoke about this as I reflected on the Incarnation through the lens of Philippians 2.  You can listen to the full talk here.  In this passage the work of God-becoming-human has three movements: Emptying, Obedience, Exaltation.  Paul urges his readers to have the same attitude as Jesus,  that means we can expect to see those movements in our lives as well.

How might the movements of Incarnation affect our MSCs?

Emptying  Living as family on mission is costly and will involve an emptying.  This emptying can be experienced when an initiative or idea doesn’t quite go to plan; that is the risk we take whenever we attempt something new.  There is also a kind of emptying we go through in order to respond to the needs of each other.  We like the idea of supporting one another,  but in practice that always means a surrender of comfort or convenience.   With Christmas so close,  is God calling you to serve someone in your community in a costly way over the next few days?

Obedience Jesus was obedient to God even to death on the cross. There is a vision that God has called your community to run after.  Are you being obedient to it?  How are you working out what it means to follow God as thoroughly as possible in the context he has placed you and how are you supporting each other in that kind of obedience within your families,  your workplaces and your homes?

Exaltation  The end result of the Incarnation is that there is now a human sitting in heaven at the side of the Father.  We do not just practice emptying and obedience,  we also trust that he will lift us up.  How do you build hope for,  and celebrate God’s work of exaltation in your communities?  Do you share stories of his work in your lives?  Do you seek, and encourage one another to expect, answers to prayer:  healings, provision and people responding positively to God.   Lets look for those things!