Over the centuries, the entrance to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity has twice been made smaller. The purpose in the last case was to keep marauders from entering the basilica on horseback. It’s now referred to as the “Door of Humility,” because visitors must bend down to enter.
As we age, bending our knees becomes more and more difficult and painful. In the physical realm, some people courageously undergo knee replacement surgery. To avoid years of increasingly painful joint damage, they endure several weeks of agony.
Like physical knees, spiritual knees can grow stiff over time. Years of stubborn pride and selfishness make us inflexible, and it becomes increasingly difficult and painful for us to humble ourselves. Seduced by false feelings of importance when others submit to us, we never learn that true importance comes from submitting ourselves to God and to others (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5).
As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, it’s good to remember the Door of Humility, for it reminds us that we all need new knees-knees that will bend. Humbly is the only way to enter the presence of God.
What better way to honor the One who bent so low to be with us.
Christ's humble birth should help us see
What life in Him can bring;
It's not acclaim that we should seek
But service for our King. -Branon
The road to victory is paved with humble submission to God.