Snow globes are mesmerizing. Peaceful. Hypnotic . . . until a five-year-old comes, picks up the globe, and SHAKES IT!
Sometimes life feels like a snow globe shaken. We are cozy in our "silent night." Family gatherings at Christmas. Sentimental music. Comfort food. And then something happens and life is SHAKEN. A loved one is sick. The family can't get along. The child is lost. The account is empty. Life is disrupted.
We have tamed Jesus' birth into a comfortable nativity scene, but don't forget that his arrival was a disruption to our world. There’s a word in Matthew's gospel used to mark the moment that shakeup happens. It’s a word spoken by angels to introduce a disruption. “Behold!” (Matt. 1:20; 2:13, 19). Look! Watch! Pay attention! Listen up!
“Behold” is spoken when God inserts himself into conventional life and changes its course. “Behold” comes when God is about to overrule the ordinary. He disrupts expected outcomes. He turns life upside down. He shakes things up.
“Behold!” The angel tells Joseph to take the girl as his wife even though it’s not his child (Matt. 1:20).
“Behold!” The angel commands Joseph to flee to Egypt (Matt. 2:13).
“Behold!” An angel directs sheep farmers to worship a baby as King.
“Behold” means that God unexpectedly redirects life. He works contrary to the conventional. His plans shake the ordinary order of life.
Don’t forget that Jesus was a man of disruption. He healed sick people, cast out demons, raised the dead, and forgave the guilty. He went after lost causes. He called out the proud and powerful. He lifted up the last and lowly. His whole ministry was a disruption of the world’s order.
Maybe you need disruption. As a doctor must make a cut to perform surgery, so God disrupts us in order to reform us.
Have you been ignorant of God in your life?
Have you been a coward in the face of holy challenge, or a calling from God?
Have you been greedy? Obsessed with wealth and shiny things? Always wanting more?
Have you been hooked on a habit you give into if only for a moment’s pleasure?
Have you been obsessed with success and other people’s approval?
You need a disruption.
Maybe you have been disrupted. You are ruined and wrecked. Maybe it’s a consequence of your own doing or maybe you’ve been afflicted by someone else’s action. You are plagued by loss, pain, or rejection. Here’s the good news about disruption: God does his best work in the shake up. He builds on the ruins of your life.
In these days of Christmas, enjoy moments of peace and stillness, but also pay attention to the disruptions. After all, the greatest things God has ever done for you were disruptions. The infant in the manger has disrupted our lives, eternally.
Lord Jesus, you disrupted the ordinary order of life by entering our world.
Disrupt my life:
Where I have gone my own way.
Where I have denied your will.
Where I have forgotten about you.
Come into my life and change me with your power and grace. My Lord, Emmanuel, come quickly.