12 Days of Christmas – Day 8

Day 8/January 1 Devotion

Reflection by Seminarian Cate Florenz

I like to make New Year’s resolutions, even though some people say it’s an arbitrary tradition that doesn’t result in real change. The beginning of a new year, in this season of Christmas, is a wonderful time to give thanks for the gifts we’ve been given, contemplate our world, and start fresh. With trouble-filled 2020 behind us, I am filled with hopeful anticipation of all that 2021 could bring if we could allow the Spirit to truly live in us and overflow into our daily lives. When Jesus took the form of a human, he emptied himself for our sake – for my sake, for your sake – and called us likewise to serve. Can we, following Jesus’ example, empty ourselves for the sake of others? Today seems a good day to start.
How will 2021 look if we do?

Philippians 2:1-7

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

Questions to Ponder

  1. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? In what ways does it mirror Christ’s humility and love?
  2. What does it mean to “empty oneself” for others, and how can we practice this?

Silence for Reflection


Loving God, you emptied yourself to become human, your only thought and sole purpose to reconcile yourself to us. Help us to model this humility and love, resolving not to promote and serve our own needs but those of others. May 2021 be a year of love and reconciliation, of healing and wellness, of mended hearts and friendships, and may we be your instruments of peace. In Christ, Amen.