With only a few shopping days left – you are probably already exhausted from attending the parties, mailing the packages and wrapping presents. And if you are like me, when I get tired, I am easily grumpy. But there are still a few things to do and get yet, right?

That’s when we encounter the throngs at the mall or the store – people who seem surprised that Christmas is on the calendar again. They haven’t bought a thing and they are wrestling for the last item on the increasingly barren shelves.

And what about you as you venture into the fray? How do you radiate Jesus in the midst of all of this mayhem? Jesus lived out 5 decisions that drew people to him and lifted our lives from the quagmire of chaos to the life of light and love. Paul records these …

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5–11, The Message)

Notice …

1.     Jesus … didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what – we can also look at others as ‘just as’ deserving as us, if not ‘more so’ because of Christ.

2.     He set aside the privileges of deity – while we may balk at the notion that we think of ourselves as God, we often are the center of our own universe, aren’t we?

3.     He took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process – this is the season to help those in the mall, in the store as well as the military families, the unemployed and the homeless people all around us.

4.     He didn’t claim special privileges – this is a constant issue for me and perhaps for you. I need to simply set my desires and myself aside and help someone else.

5.     He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion – this is my goal. I hope it is yours as well this holy day season!

Why did he do that? Because He loves us! And what did God do as a result of such amazing selflessness?

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5–11, The Message)

This Christmas season, I pray that your love for the lost will be so strong that it will be reflected in how you shop, how you wait in line and how you handle your disappointments. May the people around us get a glimpse of the glory of the living God leaking out of us as we enter the hustle and bustle!

What do you think? I’d love to hear!