If one journeys to Bethlehem today and makes the trek to the Church of the Nativity, there is a slightly unique condition that must be met. Greeting them is a curiously small portal through which each pilgrim must pass. Though once a larger door, the entrance was closed in during the Ottoman Empire to prevent looters from entering. In contrast to the twenty-five foot door adorning the entrance of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, this door stands at a mere two by four feet. It has been coined The Door of Humility since the passing visitor must lower themselves in order to enter the traditional location of our Savior’s birth.
Though it’s a physical picture, the spiritual imagery is equally real. If we would approach Christ, we don’t come based on our merits, our works, our past, our plaudits, other’s approval or recommendation, or any other basis of human intervention. It is only by the grace of Jesus Christ, the One who “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
One day, EVERY knee will bow to this Jesus who died for our sins and conquered the grave that “whoever believes in me [Jesus], though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me [Jesus] shall never die” (John 11:25-26). One day, EVERY tongue will confess that He is Lord, but still today, we have the privilege of doing so willingly (Philippians 2:9-11).
With Black Friday in the rear-view mirror, let us set our sights on living out this Christmas season with the Spirit of Christ controlling our personal and public life. If I would be honest with you, there is much in my life God is strongly convicting me of at the moment. Lust. Sensuality. Selfishness. Impatience. Idolatry. Pride. Laziness. Covetousness. (This is a real list and it’s only a start.)
But our journey starts at the Door of Humility. Getting low. Recognizing my need. Recognizing HIS sufficiency. Recognizing obedience never starts tomorrow, but is a result of surrender today. Not trying harder, but relinquishing control.
May this Christmas season be filled with this humility. A humility that confesses our need for HIM, a humility that gives Him control, a humility that counts “others more significant than yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3) a humility that gives before taking, and a humility that gets low to worship.
He is worthy!