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. (Philippians 2:6-7)

You have likely never heard this world before, but it is written on your soul. It’s pronounced key-no-sis (sis as in sister). It means to empty yourself, to give yourself away for something or someone else, which whether you know it or not is your heart’s desire.

Consider an anecdote told me by a father remembering the day, years ago, he gave an important gift to his daughter. For two weeks afterward, he walked around two feet off the ground, aglow with joy.

What he gave, of course, was himself, a piece of his heart, at personal sacrifice.

Sacrificing out of love, out of the heart’s desire to give itself away, is what kenosis looks like in real life, and it most often results in profound joy for the giver. Such kenotic acts of self-giving are also the kind of thing we most cherish and admire in other human beings.

All this opens a window into the heart of Christ, revealing that we are cherished for more than we imagine.

For Christ emptied himself (kenosis) of divine privilege, stepping out of the heavenly places to be born into a life of poverty in an obscure place and time. His kenosis doesn’t stop there. He gave himself over to rejection and the ugliest death the ancient world had devised.

All this, he does, out of his heart’s desire to show the love he has for you, a love that transcends anything else we shall ever know.

But know this: When you feel that desire to give a piece of yourself away to someone … that is exactly when you and the baby in the manger are most alike.

Pr. David L. Miller