“Humble and Hopeful”
In recent weeks, we have spent a great deal of time celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and contemplating the implications of the truth that he will one day return to establish the kingdom of God here on earth even as it is in heaven. As the year 2021 comes to a close, many of us are using this time to take stock of our lives and prayerfully consider who God is calling us to be in the coming year. If you are currently engaging in such a practice of self-examination, I want to encourage you to consider how your celebrations of the seasons of Advent and Christmas ought to shape your heart and guide your goals for 2022. What should our lives look like if we are people who believe that God humbled himself by taking on flesh so that he might become obedient to the point of death on a cross to secure our salvation? What should our lives look like if we believe that Jesus will one day return to the earth to judge the living and the dead?
In Jeremiah 48, Jeremiah pronounces a day of coming judgment for the people of Moab. In his indictment, Jeremiah denounces the people for at least two sins. First, Jeremiah states that they are proud and arrogant in heart. Second, he states that they trust in their material resources rather than trusting in the Lord. When he comes to judge the people of Moab, the Lord will humble them and reveal the folly of trusting in riches.
Even though many years have passed since Jeremiah delivered this message of judgment in Jeremiah 48, the human heart hasn’t changed. Just like the Moabites, we are prone to feeling proud and arrogant and are tempted to place our trust in the things of this world rather than God.
However, our celebrations of Advent and Christmas serve as powerful reminders that we must walk in humility and place our trust in God alone if we are going to experience the abundant life Jesus came for us to know and faithfully bear witness to the gospel in this world. As you look back to Christmas Day and toward Christ’s eventual return, ask the Lord to help you walk in humility and to put your trust in him alone. If God so transforms our hearts in the coming year, then all the time we have spent celebrating the birth of Jesus and looking forward to his second coming will have been time well spent.