Appointments to be kept. Tight schedules to maintain. Routines established. Projects to be completed… The list goes on and one.
That’s how most of us try to live our lives in a seemingly endless cycle of doing stuff so we can buy more stuff, so people can envy our stuff. But what happens when life is interrupted with something totally unexpected? A phone call, an alarm clock, or a bit of a fender-bender.
What happens when God steps in to redirect our priorities and change our perspective? The stories and people I want to share with you this Advent will challenge you to see the interruptions we often run from as a rare opportunity to let God to work in our lives in some rather amazing ways.
Opportunity comes with so many different faces that we often don’t recognize it. That’s probably why we sometimes miss its call. A previous generation said that opportunity comes dressed in overalls. And they were largely right, for nothing succeeds like hard work. Our generation thinks that opportunity comes with a college diploma. It may, but there’s no guarantee.
The divine opportunity comes in what is, to our human eyes, the most unlikely garb of all. It’s no wonder we don’t recognize it; or that, recognizing it, we resist it. This Advent season is an especially good time to experience the divine opportunity. Any time is God’s season; but because you and I find certain settings and circumstances especially hospitable to religious experience, Advent and Lent are particularly attractive.
The first Advent preacher, John the Baptizer, offered opportunity in a compelling, almost ferocious way. When you read his words, you don’t think he’s offering opportunity; I expect that if we had heard him in person, we would have been even more doubtful. William Barclay said that John’s message “was not good news; it was news of terror” (The Gospel of Luke, Westminster John Knox Press, p. 28). I understand what Professor Barclay was saying, but I see it differently. It seems to me that good news must sometimes come dressed in rough clothing.
Sermon Notes: Sermon Notes 12.01.13 An Interrupted Life
Sermon Slides: Worship 12.01.13 First Advent
Sermon Audio: Interrupted Life Part 1 12.1.13L