Book excerpt: What Jesus did on Christmas

This excerpt from Through the Year with Fulton Sheen is, maybe, a good thing to read once all the excitement and clamor of Christmas morning has quieted…

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which in 2020 falls on February 26.

In the epistle to the Philippians we read: “For the divine nature was his from the first” — Christ was always God — “Yet he did not think to snatch at equality with God.”

Who snatched at equality with God?

Satan did. And Adam did when Satan told him he would be like God.

But he who is God by nature did not snatch at equality with God, but “made himself nothing.” Nothing.

The old translation was “He emptied himself.”

In theology this is called kenosis.

God emptied himself; he made himself a nothing, “assuming the nature of a slave” — not merely of a servant.

The Greek word is doulos.

The word doulos is used about forty-seven times by our Lord in the New Testament. A slave does hard work; a slave does dirty work.

Assuming the nature of a slave, “bearing human likeness, revealed in human shape, he humbled himself and in obedience accepted even death — death on the cross.”

So he emptied himself.

This verse is Christmas. “He emptied himself.”