14 PAX were hungry for His Word this morning!  The Refinery, Raleigh/Cary/Apex’s newest ThirdF site, has been posting high numbers for its third week in a row.  We rushed to get coffee, rearranged the dining area to accomodate 14 (much to the chagrin of the ‘regulars’) and took a pause to open in prayer.

The Thang

YHC had a lady come over last night to pick up gifts for a family our small group adopted for Christmas.  While getting her car packed up with gifts for a single mom and two young boys she told me more about them.  She told me how mom is working two jobs, raising two boys, and is basically doing all she can just to remain in the situation she’s currently in!

Now take that situation and throw in Christmas on top of that.  She’s maxed out already.  She has no more time, no more energy, and no more resources.  What is she supposed to do with “Christmas”!?

You see, that’s what we’ve done to Christmas.  We’ve turned it into something God never intended for it to be and by doing so we’ve made it a big ball of stress!  If you tell someone Christmas is in 3 days they will probably reply back with something stress related like, “And I haven’t wrapped a single gift yet!”

Now in contrast, when we look back at the first Christmas it’s so stripped down and basic we can only see it for what it truly is:  God’s ultimate gift to man, a Savior!

You want proof there is a God?  It’s events like this that fuel my belief.  What human mind would try and sell us a story that the God of the universe would bring his son into this world, “to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45b), by having him born in cave, placed in a feeding trough, and cared for by a simple man and woman?

No, if we were to write this story it would be surrounded with riches, parades, lights, gifts, food, parties…(see where I’m headed with this?)…you know, like what we call “Christmas” today!!

So why did God humble Himself and the birth of his son?  Well, through discussion we beleive this was done specifically for us!  For the ordinary man to relate to.  If Jesus was born to a king, in a palace, with infinite riches many of those first Christians would find themselves unworthy of such a Savior.  He humbled himself to open himself up to the masses (the whole 100% of us) so we could all feel welcomed into His kingdom!

God uses ordinary people, flawed people, sinful people, because it’s through these people we are able to relate and see ordinary people do extraordinary things!

The Takeaway

So what do we do after (re)discovering what Christmas is about?
We humble ourselves a bit more.  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45a).  Put others first and try and pick up some of that burden and stress others are facing this Christmas.
We refocus ourselves on what the gift of the first Christmas truly was.  “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21)
We become sheppards and share this great news!

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!”
Luke 2:14

Merry Christmas!