This year our family did something new when it came to decorating for Christmas....
In preparing for Advent this year, I have been deeply reflecting on the birth narratives in Scripture, notably how people’s lives were disrupted by the coming of Jesus. It is remarkable to consider Zechariah, faithfully fulfilling his priestly duties in his old age, only to be surprised with the announcement that he would have a son. In addition to this life-altering news, he was rendered mute for several months. Then there are the wise men, called to embark on an unexpected journey and forced to return home on a different route. And of course, Mary and Joseph, whose plans and dreams for their life together were radically disrupted by the announcement that Mary would carry the Messiah and witness His eventual death.
These stories, among many others, teach us that God has a way of disrupting our lives to bring about His greater plans and purposes for us. This realization has led me to question my own openness to allowing God to disrupt my life for His purposes. I am comfortable with my routines, goals, and plans. I enjoy creating schedules for my day and week, incorporating my own rhythms for replenishment. While these habits have their merits, it can be challenging to surrender to God’s disruptions.
As we approach Advent and the new year, I encourage you to consider this theme of disruption in your own life. In revisiting Alan Hirsch’s book, Metanoia, I am reminded that God brings about the new and the better not through linear progression or growth, but often through valleys of disruption. It is in these moments that the Lord brings about drastic shifts in our thinking, in our hearts, and in our actions.
I invite you to contemplate the birth of Christ through the lens of disruption, recognizing that it often leads to greater blessings. Consider how you can be both prepared and watchful for how God might want to disrupt your life and your church in the new year. Embrace the discomfort of surrendering your plans and desires to His greater purpose. Let us approach this Advent season with open hearts and minds, eagerly anticipating the unexpected ways in which God will work in our lives.
Merry Christmas to each of you! We are so grateful for your partnership in ministry and I look forward to seeing you at the National Gathering at the end of January.