The second candle we light in Advent is the “Bethlehem Candle.” It is the reminder of how the Bread of Life came to the House of Bread in humility. Jesus, King of the Universe, did not come to the world by way of power or exceptionalism but by humility. He was born in a hole carved from the side of a rock and his cradle was a hay filled trough.
This King of glory was completely ordinary.
This second week of Advent we consider the ordinariness of the glorious King. A helpless baby born to a young girl on the outskirts of a small town. He was nothing special to the unassuming eye. He was just a baby.
The King of glory was a just a baby.
The King of glory was poor.
The King of glory was nothing to behold.
The King of glory would have been considered to have little worth.
What do we do with such a King? How do we respond? How does this challenge us as we move forward into Bethlehem week?
We live in a world, not unlike the world Jesus was born into, where class and status mean more than just about anything else. We battle for status within the realm of social media, our neighborhoods, our jobs, our schools. Our lives are a constant attempt of “one upping” another.
Humility is something we run from.
What might it look like for me to embrace humility this week? I have been thinking about this for a few days and I’ve come up with something simple. In a conversation, choose to say, “You’re right” or “I don’t know” or “You’ve given me something to think about.” These little phrases begin to move us toward humility.
Humility is something that we have to actively choose to practice in our lives. It is not something that comes to us naturally. It will take work. We will be uncomfortable.
Sort of like lying in a hay filled manger…