Merry Christmas 2019
“When the time was right, God sent forth His Son….”
Christmas Day is here. The waiting. The anticipation. The preparation. The season of Advent we have been through the past weeks is a period designed for waiting. Not our favorite thing to do, I’ll grant you. But as the people of Israel awaited the first advent (coming) of a Messiah Who would deliver those who were “walking in darkness…” so the church now awaits the second Advent of our Savior.
Christmas is, according to one author, a “delightful disruption” of our ordinary life.
Certainly that is true. We are disrupted by trips to the mall, battles in traffic, visits from relatives, and extra meals to prepare. There are work disruptions, and unless you work in retail, December is one of the least productive months of the year for many corporations (well, unless you’re Amazon)!
Obviously this “disruption” did not begin with us. The first Christmas was anything but quiet. It brought anxiety, fear, and unanticipated problems of travel and lodging for Joseph and Mary. Hardly the “Silent Night” we sometimes sing about!
A few years back, we were visiting in Istanbul Turkey and meeting with some missionaries who serve there, and some Iranian pastors who were literally smuggled out of their country to meet with us. One evening as we headed back to a very comfortable hotel, we walked past a family of four…Dad, Mom, and two small children, sleeping while propped up and leaning against the hotel wall and covered with a thin blanket.
They were refugees from Syria. The dogs and cats of Istanbul were treated more humanely than these people. When we saw their plight, several of us went in to the hotel and emptied our store of traveling food and some clothing to give the family.
I can’t help but think about Mary and Joseph appearing the same way to the people of Bethlehem. Without relatives to house them, they were forced to seek lodging from the sole travelers inn, which had no room available to house them. They were forced to seek refuge and a modicum of privacy in a stable meant for animals. It was there our Savior entered the world.
“How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.” Christmas began as a “holy disruption” of a young couple’s life, and a total disruption of their life plan. I think the pattern of disruption is still followed today.
Your Christmas this year may be disrupted by relatives who are coming or by those who can’t. We are disrupted by socials, shopping, and more shopping. The inconvenience of this “delightful disruption” may not seem “delightful” to you. But in reality, it was God’s plan all along that every person’s “ordinary” existence be disrupted by His Son.
I hope the distractions and disruptions of these days does not turn to frustration for you. It can. But please don’t miss the reminder in Christmas that God came to ‘delightfully disrupt” every human life.
Have you allowed Him to disrupt yours?