Christmas is the ultimate story of divine intervention and holy interruption! It is the perfect example of God stepping into the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. There was nothing special about the people and places in the story of Jesus’ birth, but that was God’s intention all along.
Mary was a teenaged girl from a typical family. She wasn’t rich or royal, she was regular. She had heard the sacred scriptures and knew about the promised Messiah. She had heard He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), but she never could have imagined it would be her. Then one day her life was interrupted with an angelic announcement that would change the course of the world:
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!” – Luke 1:30-33
Mary didn’t have much, but she did have faith. She didn’t understand how it would happen and she wasn’t sure what the reaction to her unplanned pregnancy would be, but she was all-in for God’s plan and ready to be used by Him. She had faithfully stored the Word of God in her heart and God had prepared her for this moment.
“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” – Luke 1:38
Then there was Joseph. He was an ordinary young carpenter engaged to be married to an ordinary young girl. They would finish their betrothment period, consummate their marriage, and start an ordinary family. Then one day his life was interrupted by a divine directive. His young virgin wife was going to have a baby that would be the Savior of the world. (Matthew 1:18-24)
And on the night of the miraculous birth, ordinary shepherds tending their ordinary sheep were interrupted by a radiant revelation: “The Savior has been born!” Then joined by a magnificent multitude, saying:
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – Luke 2:14
Interventions and interruptions continued as God moved in people and circumstances to accomplish His will. A pagan Emperor ordered a census that brought Joseph and Mary to an ordinary cave in an ordinary city just in time for an extraordinary birth. At that moment, the course of history changed forever. The long-awaited Messiah had arrived.
At Christmas we celebrate divine interventions and holy interruptions! We celebrate God’s movement throughout history to impact eternity. We celebrate the fact that He is still intervening and interrupting ordinary lives today. If you are a child of God, pray for intervention and expect interruption. God can use even you to accomplish extraordinary things for His glory.