The break in

Luke 2:1-20

Disturbed is the night, their lives haven't been the same ever since the angels first visit. Once to Mary, then she disappears to her cousin Elizabeth. Then to Joseph, so he is not ashamed. Will it never stop? This interference from above because this babe is special, because this babe is hope. Now there are shepherds showing up, in spite of how tired they are, traveling, then birthing, alone. Some mumbling of angels appearing and telling them where to go. Incredible, disturbing because all they want is rest, time with their newborn babe, alone. Yet this heavenly visitation is not done with them yet.

God's in breaking disturbs them again, run, run to Egypt because Herod has found out and is on the rampage to snuff out this promise. Thanks God for those visitors from far away. You couldn't leave well enough alone. The shepherds were only just the tip of the iceberg. Now they have Magi tramping up to their home. Now they are fugitives, relying on a foreign land to take them in. Will this boy not grow up in his own home? Will he never visit the temple and make the sacrifices? How will he lead his people from afar? Thanks be to God.

This isn't the end of Joseph and Mary's disturbances by God. Tonight we pretty up how God breaks into our lives with a sanitized stable, a perfect babe, silent in the manger, a perfect mother, we don't hear her labor pains and a perfect father, Joseph we never hear his doubts or complaints. Yet this is messy. In one of the youth services it suggests holding the Christmas Eve service down the alley with all the dumpsters, the smell, the noise of the city should get the point across. Never mind that this disturbance comes with 12 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock feedings, or dirty diapers that have to be washed out immediately.

No we expect peace, we expect joy, we expect hope with none of the mess. Just think of this word we use for incarnation though, in breaking or break in. What break in is clean? What break in doesn't tip over the pots, empty out the drawers, leave things strewn all about. Yet we expect God's break in to pat us on the back, give us magic answers and tell us good job. This is not a break in. When God breaks in our lives are turned upside down. Maybe some of our drawers become open that we wanted to shut away forever, maybe we are torn apart by loss, maybe we lack hope of any kind and in the midst of this mess, in the midst of this devastation God is with us.

It is why God took human form in the guise of a helpless babe and came to disturb our world so long ago. This wasn't the easiest time, in the face of empire who is fascinated by having ultimate power and doesn't understand the kingdom of God. In the face of disease, in the face of poverty, in the face of helplessness God entered in. God broke in to show us God's love is helpless. God broke in to show us God's love is for those on the margins everywhere. God broke in to tell us God works in God's own ways, not to our expectations and we, we are to trust. Have faith, just as Joseph and Mary did.

Will you allow God to break into your life? Will you allow God to mess with your life and never be the same? Will you allow God to break into you messy life and see it all, offer it all, knowing it didn't ever start out perfect, yet God is there helping upset and remake it all? Amen