“[He] emptied himself” (Php. 2:7).
I believe the best lessons happen when the teacher passionately ends up preaching (but I suppose I am biased). At Seminary our teacher ended a lesson describing the sacrifice his own mother had made for him. In the face of overwhelming odds and desperate poverty, having lost her husband, she supported and educated him. He recalled, when he was very young, how she visited him at the hostel during a lunch break. It was oppressively hot and he begged her for an ice cream. Years later he realised she’d used her bus money to buy it and had to walk back to work in the sweltering heat.
That memory captured the essence of his mother’s love. She emptied herself for him and her loving sacrifice shaped and directed his life and his ministry.
In this Second Sunday of Advent we look, in awe, at the Christ, “who did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave”. When our worship overflows into loving service we shape our selves, and the world, for good.