Among the great Christmas passages in the New Testament:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus aevery knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
More than once Jesus reminded His apostles that a slave is not above his master. Whatever Jesus endured, it is not beneath us. Here’s Jesus’ experience of the first Christmas: He left His glory in resplendent Heaven and came to be born in a stable. It is precisely this transition that the Apostle puts before us: a willingness to suffer indignity and a humble desire to serve.
As we all go to family events, I’d just like to suggest to you that there might be some point of application here with regard to your insufferable step-mother, your arrogant sister-in-law, your impatient mother-who-would-like-to-have-grandchildren-before-she-is-too-old, your inebriated co-worker, or your spoiled nephew. Attend Christmas this year as a slave of Jesus Christ. Enter your Christmas season armed with a determination to humble yourself, receive indignities with meekness, and give yourself in service of those for whom it is most difficult to serve.
I have enough confidence in you and the Holy Spirit to leave you to fill in the blanks.