Different this year. Not only for us, but for so many people. Loved ones lost, jobs in limbo, crime escalating through the world.
But even though it may be different because we don’t know where we’ll be, and our Christmas decorations are in storage, is my lack of a Christmas tree going to change the fact that Jesus was born for us?
I don’t think so.
I’m realizing that in the grand, eternal scheme of things much of what we do at Christmas will not make or break it.
Aww…but I want to bake, and decorate, and hang the stockings with care.
Yet, God wants us to reframe our lives and our business to function from a place of his direction. He wants to clear out any distorted thinking, pride, fear, or self-reliance. The Lord is showing us how to live like the original followers of Jesus, funneling his provision through each other to help whoever needs it whether in the church or outside it.
His heart and focus are on those who don’t know him yet or have moved away from him.
He wants us to literally lay down our lives, die to self, and put others needs and interests ahead of our own.
Hey, isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?
God, the Word, came to us in the flesh. Not as God, but laying aside his position, his rights, his authority to be born in a dirty, smelly place with animals. Appearing to the lowliest of the community, the shepherds—who, by the way, knew what it meant to lay down their lives—the angels gave them the privilege of being the first to meet their Savior and spread the news.
After all, who else better to recognize the Lamb of God?
I’ll bet people thought they were crazy.
Maybe they were mocked. Ridiculed. What would a shepherd know about a bright light and a baby king? Did that make any sense?
The mother was a mere girl not even from their town. Really?
Rumors seeped through the community that her husband wasn’t really the father.
I’m pretty sure there are a few folks who wonder what the heck we’re doing. Temporary housing, couch surfing, letting our son fend for himself. (He is a nineteen-year-old college student with a solid job, not twelve, after all.) If I were looking at my life from the outside, I’d wonder what’s going on with us too.
It makes no sense.
Praying, waiting, worshiping, waiting, reframing our thinking, waiting, searching, waiting…God has given us specific visions. It doesn’t make sense. Nothing can happen without his hand moving mountains. But he fed thousands of people with a few fish and loaves of bread. We’re opening our hands and hold out what we have, believing he will do miracles with that little bit and our sometimes-shaky faith.
Michael Todd, Pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, OK in his messages of crazy faith and crazy(er) faith says
“It’s only crazy, until it happens.”Michael Todd
That’s what Mary and Joseph must have thought when Jesus was born. Maybe it’s what Simeon and Anna, who had waited and prayed for Messiah thought when they met him.
“It’s only crazy, until it happens.”
Then, can we acknowledge that it’s God?