Jesus did not die because we are holy; he died to make us holy. You are not valuable because you can ascend to God; you are invaluable because Jesus descended to you. You don’t need to shed an ounce of energy trying to earn God’s love. It has already been given to you; not because of what you’ve done, but because of who Jesus says you are. He became a recipient of God’s wrath so that we could be recipients of his grace.
The King of the universe came down to earth not as a king, but as a servant. Who are we to boast within ourselves when we play no part in our salvation? Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, yet we expect the universe to kneel at our feet and praise us for our miniscule glory. You get the picture? Zoom out and realize that your life is very small. You have no power to save yourself, so why do you act like you are the savior of your own life? Jesus emptied himself of everything and had every right to boast to all creation about his superiority, yet we stroke our egos even though we have no right to boast about anything.
Unless we are reminded of the gospel daily, we will be falsely reminded that we are great people worthy of praise. The only worth we have comes from the love God has for us. Jesus came to us in a manger, not to have us serve him, but to serve us; even to the point of death. Let the manger remind you not of the baby we see in the nativity scene, but of the King who humbly left his throne for you and me.