Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Life interrupted

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for….

As a child, I never liked those words when it interrupted my favorite TV show.  Whether it was a message from the president, the news station or the weatherman, it was still interrupting my show.  How do you react when your life is interrupted by something unexpected?  Do you get mad, roll with the punches or are you happy that it happened?  After all, life does get interrupted.   We may receive an unexpected bill, someone in the family gets hurt or injured, your boss gives you an extra project with an immediate deadline, or you find out that you are the person providing snacks for a get together and your cupboard is bare.  These things happen and how we react to them tells us something about who we are.

Let’s take a moment to think about some people who had their life interrupted in the book of Luke.  First, we have Mary.  There is no denying that her life was interrupted in a mighty way.  She was an ordinary girl in Biblical times going about her life like every other girl in that time.  She helped her parents, spent time in worship and with other girls her age.  Then all of a sudden, her life was interrupted by an angel who told her that she was going to give birth to a son, the Messiah.  Our life interruptions seem a little less now, don’t they?  Let’s go on and look at how Mary handled her life interruption.  Mary praised God in a song of praise that is written in Luke 1, beginning in verse 46.  In Luke 1:48, Mary says, “For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.”  Now, Mary was not lifting herself up or putting herself on a pedestal.  Many people will use this verse to make her that way.  The Greek word for “blessed” in this verse actually means, “well-spoken of.”  When we bless God, we are speaking well of Him which is equal to praising or thanking Him.  When we ask God to “bless” us or “speak well” of us, we are asking Him to not just approve our plans but to interfere or interrupt our lives.  God interrupted Mary’s life but because of that she was blessed.  

Second, we have Joseph.  His life was also interrupted.  He had already pledged to become Mary’s husband.  However, his life was interrupted when he found out that Mary was going to give birth to the Messiah.  Not only did he also have to have faith in the prophecy of God, but he would be caring for Mary and the newborn Jesus.  

Third, we have the shepherds.  The shepherds were in the fields on what they thought was an ordinary night.  They were taking care of their sheep, making sure they were together and safe.  I can imagine that they probably had their eye on the one wayward sheep that always tried to get away.  Perhaps they were maintaining a fire to stay warm.  Then life was interrupted by not just one angel, but a host of angels.  The host of angels proclaimed to them that their long awaited for Messiah was finally here and they were to find them.  Can you imagine the look on their faces when they saw their Messiah and he was in the form of a baby?  I am sure they were thankful that their ordinary life was interrupted that night.

Whether we want it to or not, life gets interrupted by good things and bad things.  We must see that these are all ways that God “interferes” with our life.  We may not understand it when it is happening and we may not understand why the interruption happens.  The Lord never promised us that we would always have happiness, good luck or favorable circumstances all the time.  He does promise that we will be blessed.  Mary endured her circumstances and was blessed.  In that same way, we can endure life’s interruptions and feel blessed for them.  I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.  Be blessed this Christmas season and allow God to interrupt your life whenever necessary so that you can look for the blessings that can come along with them.

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