Hey everyone, Tim here. 

     I hope this letter finds you well. If you were with us this past Sunday, you heard Pastor Chris open our new series "Undercover Boss" by talking about Jesus coming to be with us on this earth and how that action is the true beginning of the Easter story.

     Now we all know the stories: Easter is when Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead; Christmas is when Jesus was born into this world. Not a whole lot of crossover there. Two different stories. Two different events. Two different holidays with different mascots (Santa and an egg-centric bunny - hope you see what I did there!).

     But Christmas really is the beginning of Easter, and not just because it is the beginning of the Jesus story because that's when he was born and he has to have been born in order to die and raise from the dead. Christmas is the beginning of the Easter story because it is the beginning of the humility of Jesus.  

     Think about that: God coming to earth, accepting all the limitations of humanity, and walking alongside and leading us to a better way of living. It's a beautiful story on our end, but it's absolute humility on God's end.

     Consider in your own life: Have you ever been forced to do a job or task that you felt was "beneath you"? Once, when I was about 16, I had to play Santa at our family Christmas party for all of my nieces and nephews - talk about humiliating. And while it brought them so much joy, it was not on my list of things that I would be doing again... But it served a purpose.

     This was Jesus coming into our story; it was beneath him so-to-speak. But it gets even more humiliating. Jesus willing suffered and died in our place in a very public, very humiliating way.

     Humility is an aspect of love, and it takes a great love to humbled oneself for the sake of others. That is the kind of love Jesus has for us. That is the kind of love John the Baptist talked about when he said, "I must decrease, [Jesus] must increase" (John 3:30).

     Jesus called us to follow his example of sacrifice (humility) for others - in whatever form that takes. When we condescend to humble ourselves and serve others, giving ourselves for them, the power of Jesus' love becomes present and tangible in this world - and that really is "Good News" (The Gospel).