“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom, there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33).
Right from the time of King David, God already had the coming of Jesus Christ in mind. When we really consider the promise made to David, (that his throne shall be established forever), we cannot but agree that this promise was only fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The question is: “What is it about David that made him so pleasing to God?” The answer is our first lesson for today: Humility.
1. God Favours the Humble.
Despite being king of Israel, David never forgot his roots; how he used to be an ordinary shepherd boy before God elevated him. David never saw himself as some self-made man. In today’s first reading, David felt so embarrassed that the Ark of God was dwelling a tent. “How can I be living in a house of affluence while the Ark of God who made me what I am is just there in a tent?”
Like David, Mary never saw herself as some First Lady rather she was able to say to the Angel: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” meaning: “I am nothing before God, let God use me as He pleases.” While David opted to build a house for God, Mary agreed to become a living tabernacle for God. Humility is not necessarily thinking less of ourselves, it is giving God His due.
2. It Takes Humility to Obey God.
David was the commander in chief of Israel. Everyone obeyed him yet, when Nathan told him what God had said regarding building the temple, David did not argue or insist in his decision. Let us examine our hearts. If for instance, you have made up your mind to do something and the priest of God tells you not to proceed with this decision, would you accept it as the voice of God?
St. James teaches us: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6). St. Peter adds: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6).
3. Building for God is a Privilege.
Another lesson for today is that we should always consider ourselves lucky when we have the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the house of God. David had everything needed to build the Temple but God considered him unworthy to build it. It is not about how much money you have; it is about if God allows you to build. Truly no one can boast before God as we hear the prophet Isaiah remind us:
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the LORD. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.’” (Isaiah 66:1-2).
4. With God, Nothing is Impossible.
To really assure Mary that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Angel Gabriel announced that Elizabeth (who was called “barren woman”) was now in her sixth month with a child. The Angel said: “For with God, nothing will be impossible.” This is another great lesson we learn today – to trust less in our own abilities and strengths while we place all our trust in God. According to St. Paul in today’s second reading, God is the only one who is able to strengthen us; He is the only wise God.
Dear friends, we must pause for a while today and reflect deeply on the Christmas Story. It is a story of how God did a series of impossible things – how Elizabeth in her old age conceived, how Mary without knowing a man became pregnant, how God took our human flesh and still remained God. Regardless of your situation, know that God can still turn things around for your good.
Conclusion: Christmas is a story of Humility
In the words of St. Paul: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death.” (Philippians 2:5-8). If God could be this humble by taking on our human nature, we who are called to be perfect like God must also learn to drop our pride and enter into the world of those less privileged than ourselves.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may my celebration of your birth increase my humility. Amen.
Bible Study: 2nd Samuel 7:1-16, Romans 16:25-27 and Luke 1:26-38).