Holy Disturbance: Breaking Through
In each of our Advent stories, a human being with a hurt in their heart reached out and sought after God. That hurt, that crying out, that hope-filled reaching and waiting for God to come close is the energy of Advent. On Christmas morning, however, the action flows in reverse. Instead of people reaching out towards God, God comes close to be with us where it hurts.
This is the energetic heart of Christmas. God loves creation so much that God couldn’t stay away from our wounded places. God became human to be with creation where it hurts. To come near us in our longings. To reach out and touch our wounds. To bring forgiveness to our regretful, grieving hearts. To speak words of life into our ears. To taste our tears. To join in our laughter. To listen to our voices. To touch our blinded eyes. To search for us in our lostness. To breathe air and taste bread and work wood and touch soil with us. To make a new home within creation. So creation could become a renewed home for life.
So much of religion puts the emphasis on our behavior. If we are or are not living up to some standard. If we are or are not reaching out and searching after God. Christmas reminds us, however, that God is always making the first move. God is always coming towards us. All our longing, all our hunger for the divine, all our cries for redemption, are simply mirrors of God’s profound longing for us. This love is magnified for us on Christmas day.
It is important that we, people of faith, put our hope in this aspect of God’s character. A God who is perpetually moving towards us, doing something new, pressing in, breaking through, to be close to us. It is so important, in this last week of Advent, that we keep our eyes and hearts open for the movement of God reaching out in love towards us. We are not waiting for a specific outcome. We are waiting in hope for a God who will be breaking through.
God’s coming will not happen in ways that we expect. The magnificent, universal energy of God’s love came into the world in an ordinary, hidden way. God broke through not with thunderbolts and lightning but with a baby’s cry. This is why we chose the image of a bird breaking through an eggshell as the symbol of God breaking through. Therefore, it is important that as we hurt, long, cry, wait, and watch for the coming of God, we look at the small and ordinary details of our lives. Things so ordinary we are tempted to overlook it as coincidence. Advent hope takes nothing for granted.
The Christmas story tells us something else about how this God breaks through. God is collaborative. God breaks through, through us. Christmas happened because Mary and Joseph said “yes” to God. In the same way, God is breaking through as ordinary people—like you and me—open our hearts and say “yes” to God: “Yes, God, I hear your invitation. Yes, God, I receive the new life you want to plant inside of me. Yes, God, I want to be part of the great collaboration to bring healing and renewal to this earth. The incarnation of God’s love in the dimension of space and time involves us. It is important for we who are Christians to not only be waiting for God to come close TO us, but to be waiting for how God wants to come close THROUGH us.
As we hurt, long, cry, wait, and watch for God in the small and ordinary details of our lives, we also look for ways that God wants to move through us, love through us, give through us, in ways that are also small and ordinary, so small and ordinary we might not notice. Pay attention, the time has come—the coming of God is among us!
PS. Here’s the link to the children’s Nativity video shown at church on Sunday. if you haven’t seen it yet, prepare yourself for serious cuteness! Many thanks to Lily and Lynne for orchestrating this gift to our church.?
Deep peace and blessings.
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor of the Church at Southpoint
If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.
In-Person 10:00 am on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey!
Sun. Dec. 26, Boxing Day
Sun. Jan. 2, 10:00 am
Speaker: Brent Unrau
Sun. Jan. 9, 10:00 am
Speaker: Anne Smith A Glimpse of One Who Gathers Isaiah 43: 1-7
& same day: Newcomer Welcome Lunch
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New to Southpoint?
At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *
We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.
As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.
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