Monday, November 28, 2016

Giving Thanks for Interruptions

Luke 1: 26-44
November 27, 2016
Advent 4

When we think of interruptions,
they usually aren’t good.
Our sleep was interrupted,
The class was interrupted
An outburst interrupted the courtroom.
Our life was interrupted.
It’s usually meant as a negative word.

As a pastor, people often tell me,
“I’m sorry I interrupted you.”

It’s usually from someone with some a theological question,
which is what I actually went to school for,
And what you interrupted me from
was probably not very exciting anyway,
so I appreciate being interrupted mostly.

Interruptions can be inconvenient,
But they’re not all bad.

Take this story today for instance,
Mary is doing whatever she’s doing that day,
making bread or sewing or washing something.
Doing whatever she was doing with her life.
Preparing for her marriage,
thinking her future would be very similar to her mother’s life,
and the life of most other women.
And just then Gabriel comes to her
and tells her that she would have a child,
and not just any child but God’s child
and he will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.
She was told that she would give birth to the savior,
the Messiah, the one that everyone was waiting for.

That is quite an interruption.

Imagine standing there, brushing your teeth,
in whatever  state of life you are in right now
and having an angel of God come and tell
you that you were going to be a parent to the Messiah,
right now, if that was okay with you.

Even if you were pregnant already,
that would be a pretty big interruption.

Now, like with all life interruptions,
Some people would  refuse, run away, to go into hiding.

But some people, like Mary, decide to accept whatever
God has in mind and see where this interruption leads them.
Here I am, the servant of the Lord.

And if you decided to do that,
you might join together with other people
who have gotten the same kind of interruptions
which is what Mary does.

As soon as Mary accepts this news, she goes out to see
her sister Elizabeth, the one other person
who truly understands  this gigantic interruption.
Because she was interrupted several months earlier,
with news that she would finally be a mother,
to John the Baptist, the one that would
gather the people and prepare them for Jesus arrival.

Mary meets with her, and talks with her,
and compares notes with her and
 I’m sure they also share their fears and apprehensions,
they make plans and they rejoice together.

This was kind of the first meeting of the
Christian church when you think about it.
  
The church is made up of people whose lives have been
interrupted by Jesus coming together to share our
joy and pain, to make plans together, and to wait together,
for the wonderful things that God has in store
for us and for all the world.

God has interrupted us.--
Maybe not with parenting the savior of the world--  
but with other callings and convictions
we weren’t planning on.

Maybe we didn’t believe in God at one time
or we were uncommitted to Jesus.
Maybe we had one career in mind
and God called us to another,
maybe we thought our family would look
one way, but it looks another way,
maybe we didn’t want to be dragged in to a project
but then we found ourselves deep in the middle of it.

That is God’s job, to make all things new,
To shake things up, to interrupt.

And considering the state of the world today,
With war and violence, poverty,  hunger,
blatant racism and hate, and little hope for the future,
don’t we want some interruptions?
Don’t we want God to come in and do something new and unexpected?

Each week in Advent, we light these candles.
Each week shows us God’s interruption of light
into our world getting stronger and stronger.
The darkness may seem strong and ominous at times,
 but we know God’s hope, love, peace, and joy
keeps getting  stronger and brighter.

So we gather together
And we rejoice at the fact that everything has not gone
as we had planned or expected.
We rejoice that God interrupted Mary’s life and the savior was born.
And we rejoice that God has interrupted our lives
and asked us to be part of God’s plan for salvation too.

And we wait together for the savior of the world
to come into our lives and interrupt us again.

We long for those days when God comes so close that we
can taste, see, hear, smell and feel God’s presence with us.

We wait together for the wonderful things
that God has in store
for us and for all the world.


We wait for the light to interrupt the darkness.

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