The Lord said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” Exodus 33:19  

You know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9  

What a glorious, awesome God we encounter in Exodus, He comes in all His glory to again meet with Moses and give him another copy of the Ten Commandments. The glory of God is beyond what Moses can see and still live, so he needs to be careful. Moses does get to converse with God, however, and learns that He can be gracious and merciful to whom He chooses. A glorious, all-powerful God who can do anything and have anything, after all He created it all.   

Then we read what Paul writes to the Corinthians. Jesus could have come to live among as a rich and powerful person. This awesome God could have sent a Son that was an earthly king. But this is not the Jesus we meet through the gospels and epistle writers. Jesus comes among as very humbly, to a poor family, refugees at one point. Born to simple ordinary people who raised him like any other child. Rather than coming to us as a king with riches and glory, in a generous, gracious act Jesus became poor. He lived humbly and attracted followers that gave up everything to follow Him.   

Through this act of grace we become rich – not in the sense of getting lots of money to buy cars and houses and take vacations – but in the sense of being able to be children of God. To respond to the generosity that God showed us in sending Jesus Christ by being generous to those around us. In Philippians  2:7 Paul writes “he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (NIV) As we follow, we too can humble ourselves and be servants to the world around us.   

Mighty Lord, we are awed by your coming to live among us. You left your heavenly throne to be with us on earth, so that we could achieve the richness of your hope.  How blessed are we that in your mercy we are saved. We gladly receive your gracious love and our welcoming us as your children. Thank you for being with us always, and help us to follow you and your example. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Chris Gabel