There are moments in all of our lives when we are going through our normal, comfortable days and something happens to send our day, or sometimes our life, in a different direction. Sometimes these occurrences are simply a part of life, but sometimes these interruptions come from God. One might call them Divine Interruptions. This Sunday we embarked on an Advent series called Divine Interruptions, where we will be looking at people whose lives were interrupted by God and sent on a new path that was greater than they could have imagined.
This Sunday we began with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1:5-20. Zechariah and Elizabeth were a couple that deeply loved each other and were devoted to God. They had been married for a long time, yet in all of those years, they never were able to have a child. They wanted so badly to have one, yet they were resigned to the fact that it wasn’t in the cards for them. One day Zechariah went to work at the Temple, and he was chosen to offer incense to God in the inner room, which was a very normal activity for an ordinary day as a priest. In the midst of this ordinary day, an angel came to Zechariah and completely interrupted his plans and expectations for what life would be for Elizabeth and him. The angel said that they would bear a child, and not just any child, but a child who would turn Israelites back to God and prepare the way for the Lord. In shock, Zechariah asked, “How can I be for sure?” The angel said that he would be silent until these things come to pass.
Oftentimes this silence is viewed as punishment for Zechariah for not believing the first time. But what if we looked at this silence in a new light? What if the silence was not a punishment? What if, instead, the silence was a part of the sign that God was working in this interruption? In those nine months of silence, Zechariah had a lot of time to listen and discern what God was saying and to what new thing God was calling him. For us today, this story can teach us that silence can be a good thing when we experience a divine interruption in our life. As commentator James Luck said, “Human speechlessness helps God to be heard.” Silence give space to discern what God desires of us, and it makes us more aware of the new thing to which God is inviting us. Sometimes these interruptions may be big- sometimes God calls us to change career paths, to go on mission trips, or to start a new ministry. But sometimes these interruptions happen on a smaller scale. Sometimes it is a nudge to write an encouragement note, to invite someone going through a hard time out to coffee, or to pray with someone. This first week in Advent, we invite you to open your ears to God. In the midst of the ordinary, everyday life, listen for the Lord’s interruptions.
Reflection and Response:
The author of Love Does, Bob Goff, writes that he does not have a “Bible study” with people, he has a “Bible doing” with a small group. In that line of thought, our Advent devotionals are taking a new shape this year. Each day of Advent, we have an activity to interrupt you normal day to bring Christ’s hope and light to the world. Through these small interruptions, we pray that you experience God and share joy with others this Advent season. Download the Advent Calendar.