"5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Philippians 2:5-11
Hello and Merry Christmas!
Each month at The Oaks, we have a “heart word” that guides our spiritual focus and informs our lessons. This December, our heart word is “humility,” and it complements the Christmas season beautifully. These days, humility has become a tricky thing. In the age of social media, we self-promote as an instinct. Highlighting our favorite possessions, qualities, and activities has become the norm, and while it may not be an overtly pompous activity, there is little to it that smacks of humility either.
Surrounded with opportunities to think of ourselves first, it can be tough to find perspective about true humility. Thankfully, we can gain wisdom from a long tradition of Christian educators. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorites from the 20th century, and one of Lewis’ most prized quotations happens to be about humility: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” I love that quote, especially in light of the Philippians excerpt above. As we celebrate Christ’s birth during this season, I am reminded that we can and should spend less time thinking of ourselves, our gifts, desires, and anticipated experiences and more time thinking about the gift of Christ, the grace we have already received, and the true humility required to give it.
I am not sure about you, but I have a hard time allowing someone to pass me in line, beat me to the door of a crowded restaurant, or even to share the armrest on a flight. So, it’s hard to imagine how The Word incarnate, the light that shines in the darkness, and the life and light of men allowed himself to become fully man. To accept being derided, excluded, beaten, and humiliated by those He created, not once seeking justice, indulging pride, or losing focus on the mission to save those who don’t deserve it. The profound humility of Christ is worthy of our focus. I have found that while it is not instinctive or easy, when I do turn the focus from myself to Christ’s humility on my behalf, I am reminded of all that I already have, of my misplaced pride, and of how often I do, in fact, think of myself. So as we prepare to give and receive this year, I encourage you to join with our students and take time to reflect on the gift of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and to be grateful for the humility of Christ.
As a school, when we reflect on the many blessings we have received, we know that we are remarkably fortunate. God has blessed The Oaks with great students, families, faculty and staff, and with a vision for an excellent, Christ-centered school that He is guiding and sustaining. We are grateful for your support and encouragement, and if you have not yet seen this wonderful community for yourself, I invite you to come and visit us.
From all of us at The Oaks, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.
All my best,