Another Serving Saturday

I have a feeling I’m going to be sore in the morning. But it was worth it.

I took part in Engage Middle Tennessee, a serving Saturday for all the regional campuses of Brentwood Baptist Church.

I chose to help out with Monroe Harding. I found out this morning that we’d be moving dirt that got dumped into their driveway.

I pictured the kind of soil that you put around flower beds and thought, “This won’t be too bad. I might actually break a little sweat.”

Little did I know that the dirt in question was to fill in an old swimming pool. This dirt consisted of more rocks than dirt.

I think I broke more than a little sweat. I can’t remember the last time I did so much manual labor.

Depending on how soon the ibuprofen I took kicks in, I might be feeling achy and old in the morning. But I can say without question that it was worth it.

The family we served has adopted three children and fosters several more. They probably expend more energy on a daily basis than I did today. They probably have more than a few mornings where they wake up sore and achy. But I’m sure they’d do all of it over again for the sake of these kids. I believe God’s heart is for orphans and widows, so I know God is blessing what they’re doing.

I remembered the verse where Jesus said that if we had faith, we could move mountains. Maybe I’m not being exegetically correct or theologically sound, but I wonder if those mountains don’t sometimes get moved one shovel-full at a time, one wheelbarrow-load at a time. Maybe it’s the faith of several people united in purpose and belief that moves mountains and changes the world.

 

Invited

But you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
        of the clans of Judah, are no poor relation—
    From your people will come a Ruler
        who will be the shepherd of My people, Israel,[b]
    Whose origins date back to the distant past,
        to the ancient days” (Micah 5:2, The Voice).

For some of you, this time of year is the time when you feel the most insignificant of all. You just happen to be scrolling through your Facebook feed and you see all the exciting events and parties that your friends are having that you weren’t invited to.

Maybe you end up sitting alone on your couch on Fridays and Saturdays because no one thought to ask if you had any plans for the weekend.

It’s easy to feel like you don’t matter to anyone. You are not alone. But you matter to Someone.

You’ve been invited to celebrate a birthday. Not just any birthday. This is the birthday of God-turned-fetus-turned-newborn wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

The first evangelists of the blessed event were smelly shepherds. If anyone could feel like unwanted outsiders, it would have been them. Their occupation didn’t lend itself to a lot of socializing.

This year, Jesus invites you to celebrate His birthday. You don’t even have to bring anything– just you. It doesn’t even matter if you cleaned up and straightened up. All He’s asking is that you show up.

There’s not a single person in the Bible who found significance before God called them. Your significance ultimately isn’t in where you live, what you do for a living, or who you know. It’s Who knows you. It’s Who chose you.

At The Church at Avenue South, Aaron Bryant said that God is drawn to the insignificant, off-the-radar people.

Look at where God chose to introduce Himself to humanity. It wasn’t Rome or Jerusalem, but backwater Bethlehem via a peasant couple surrounded by barn animals and some of those aforementioned stinky shepherds.

God was (and still is) saying that all lives matter. Every life has significance. Simply being created in the image of God gives you incredible significance.

Just remember that when you’re sitting in the dark staring at your cat. You matter.