By Mike Coppersmith
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
A little boy had had part in a Christmas play at his church in which he was to recite some verses from the Bible about the birth of Jesus Christ. To jog his memory, he wrote the verses on pieces of paper and pinned them to various places on his clothing.
The evening of the play, his memory was serving him well. He began quoting from the prophet Isaiah: "To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and his name shall be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father . . . " Just then a cell phone went off in the audience. Thrown off by the interruption, the boy forgot what was next.
So he started again: "To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and his name shall be called . . . " But the interruption had caused him to lose his train of thought, so he tried again: "To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and his name shall be called . . . "
He still had no success so he decided to move to his fallback position. He confidently began: "To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and his name shall be called . . . " Then, looking into the waist of his pants he finished the verse: "Fruit of the Loom!"
Interruptions! It's hard when they happen. They are one of life's great frustrations. Everything is moving along well, and then the unexpected happens. But interruptions are inevitable. They are part of life.
And we shouldn't be surprised by this, because God is a God of interruptions. The word "interrupt" actually comes from two Latin words: the word "intero," which means "into," and the word "rupere" which means "to break." To interrupt means "to break into." And this is what God likes to do. He likes to break into our lives.
We are people with full schedules. We often think that our security is in our plans, our routines, our calendars and in the control that we imagine we have over situations and circumstances around us. So we develop neatly planned, tightly wrapped, well-ordered lives and think that our sufficiency will be in these things. Then come the interruptions, because God is a God of interruptions.
This is why Christmas is all about interruptions. It is all about God breaking into neatly planned tightly wrapped, well-ordered lives and doing something new.
Think about Mary. She was a young virgin, engaged to be married, when suddenly God the Father makes her pregnant with God the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit. That's an interruption!
Think about Joseph. He was a man of righteousness and purity, treating his fiancé with integrity and respect when suddenly the angel of the Lord announces to him that Mary is pregnant and that God did it. That's an interruption!