By Steve DuPlessie
I can see why Amazon 2-day delivery is booming. Next year maybe I can have a tree delivered by an Amazon drone, along with hot chocolate, and some pre-wrapped gift cards, and have Amazon do everything! Ok, so Amazon is what’s called a disruptive business. A business that comes in with a radical new model that disrupts the traditional way business happens. Turns everything upside down. Changes everything!
This year is a year of disruption, don’t you think? Who would have guessed a real-estate tycoon with reality TV experience but no political experience could totally ignore the advice of traditional campaign managers, bypass the professional press secretaries, and eliminate well-connected fund raisers, and still capture the White House, mostly by Twitter? That’s “market disruption” in a huge new way! There’ll be books about that one for years to come! E-books of course.
Then again, some of us have had personal life disruption this year: lost your job after decades at the same place. A loved one gone too soon. A relationship broken. An accident or illness that turned life upside down. Didn’t see that coming.
Or for some the disruption was actually the good stuff: a new baby at 5 pounds, 4 ounces is now running the schedule and priorities of an entire household! Disruption for sure. That long-anticipated graduation that escorts you into a strange new world of job shopping and career building. And bill paying.
Disruption happens everywhere. Actually, that’s the Christmas story, too. Disruption.
Think teen-age girl, engaged, planning for the wedding, when an angel – duhhh, that’s disruption enough, don’t you think? – an angel appears, tells her she’ll have a baby, by the Holy Spirit, a baby who will be the long-anticipated Savior. Oh, and by the way, name the little one, Yeshua, “God saves.”
Or her fiancé, Joseph, looking forward to the wedding day but discovers his girlfriend is already pregnant – can you say disruption? And then, an angel appears who tells him to marry the girl anyway and name the baby Emmanuel, “God with us!”
A few months later, as Mary’s due date approaches, the couple are stuck in a cattle barn for the night because the local AirBnB wasn’t up, and she gave birth there, with cows chewing hay for a shabby chic backdrop. Not the picture she had in her mind of how her first delivery would play.
Meanwhile, shepherds who lived out in the fields with their flocks were woken at midnight by a choir of angels singing – I think you could call that disruption – telling them the Savior of the world had come.
And then a few months later, Herod – the paranoid king who killed off his own sons to protect his grip on the throne – Herod was visited by wise men from Babylon, telling him a new king had been born in a nearby village. I suspect Herod saw that as market disruption that he’d never imagined.
Here’s the thing. That first Christmas night God invaded the earth … in the form of a cooing, sleeping baby, and nothing has ever been quite the same since. Disruption all around. Eternal God entered into mortal history. Creator God joined his creation. God who made man became a man. Disruption.
That baby Jesus grew to be a man, Jesus – fully man and fully God at the same time. Not some sort of 50-50 mix but 100-100. Disruption for sure.
He touched people born blind and suddenly they could see again. Lame people, healed without surgery, prosthetics or physical therapy. Social outcasts were not just accepted but sought out and embraced. Huge crowds were fed from a young boy’s bag lunch. And a dead girl, and later a dead man, were raised up alive and well from the grave.
And those were just the visible signs that disruption was happening all around. Unseen there were those with deep emotional, and spiritual problems – guilt and shame, even demonic possession – and they were healed and set free, forgiven and restored. Disruption.
There was social and political disruption as Jesus talked to common people and educated power brokers about the Kingdom of Heaven, where justice rules and reigns, where life has new eternal qualities never seen or imagined before.
But finally, there was that cosmic, eternity-changing disruption as the God-human/baby turned-God-man was arrested, tried, acquitted, and then executed anyway to satisfy an angry mob. And hanging there on a cross, suspended between heaven and earth with his arms stretched wide, Jesus declared “It is finished!” meaning the judgment of a holy God against sin had been totally, completely, fully, finally poured out on the innocent Jesus, as he became your substitute, bearing all of your sin and guilt and shame and regret, bearing all the punishment my sin and your sin deserves, so that you and I and you can be forgiven, set-free from the penalty and power of sin, and given a new life as a loved, adopted, treasured child of God!
Face it, God must love you a lot … since he sent his only Son Jesus from heaven to earth to die for you! The bible says, “When the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman … to buy freedom for us who were slaves … so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:4).
So this Christmas I have a choice. And you have a choice, a decision actually. The decision to let life keep going the same as it always has been …
… or to let your life be totally disrupted by God. The decision to give God permission to turn everything in your life upside down, start all over in a new relationship with Him. The past can be behind you. All things can be new. You have the opportunity to start a totally new life … as a loved, chosen, forgiven, adopted child of God right here, right now, tonight.
Will you reach out and accept and start enjoying God’s love-filled disruption? Or will you choose to leave life as it is, and leave his offer of forgiveness and new life on the table? Instead somehow handle your guilt, shame and regret by yourself? Your choice. Your decision.