The word interruption has negative connotations. And we typically don't like interruptions, even if we are being interrupted by something good.
But throughout the Bible, God doesn't seem to be shy about interrupting people's lives. And if we're honest, we all can use holy interruption. If we're really honest, we all need it.
The shepherds' encounter with the angels has something to say to us about the value of interruption, and gives us reasons that we should invite interruption into our day-to-day.
Worship, announcements and message are all a part of today's home church, along with a video of a powerful interruption experience!
HOME CHURCH SERVICE
Advent Reading Plan |Click Here For Our Advent Reading Plan
Thank you to Pastor Erwin for sharing this plan with us.
Series: Advent Psalms
This week: The Angels | Gloria (Inviting Interruption)
Passage: Luke 2:8-21
Speaker: Pastor Jason
Passages you can look at:
Luke 2:8-21, 2 Kings 6:17-18
1) Seeking Growth: Two things would have stood in the way of the shepherds receiving God's promise of peace through the messiah:
i- Big picture problems:
- Roman oppression
- Herod's unpredictable and intimidating leadership
- the decline and compromise of Jewish values under Herod
- civil unrest, and the threat of infighting and civil war among Jews.
ii- Personal experience:
- it didn't make sense to them that they were the chosen recipients of the angels' good news
- they were looked down upon by their own people
- The experience they were about to have of meeting the Messiah would also have been hard to swallow: a displaced, impoverished, inexperienced couple having given birth to the supposed Savior without even the basic comfort of a home.
What are the things that might stand in the way of you being able to receive God's promise of peace?
Big picture problems: globally, culturally, politically, morally, etc...
Personal experience: your challenges and trials, personal disappointments, struggling loved ones, conflict...
2) Luke 2:8-14 shows God using two things to interrupt the sheperds so that they can receive the promise of peace:
i- The display of his presence and glory through the angels.
ii- The angels' worship- which looks at God's glory in the highest before receiving the promise of peace on earth.
This interruption is uninvited and is initially unwelcome. But it turns into a life-changing experience that the shepherds give God glory for. We shouldn't assume or expect God to always interrupt our lives in such a spectacular way, but neither should we assume there is nothing we can apply from this encounter for own own lives. What does this encounter with the shepherds tell us about God's heart and desires for us?
3) Here are ways that you can invite God's interruption into your day-to-day in this Advent season. Have each person discuss at least two that they intend to practice over the Christmas season:
Worship: songs, albums or artists that lift your attention to God in the highest. When is a good time for you to do this?
Words of God's Truth: pick from worshipful passages to make you aware of God's glory and goodness:
The Advent Psalms; Psalm 8, 145, 146; Colossians 1; Philippians 2; Ephesians 3
Prayer of Adoration: Adoration is linked to thanksgiving, but is separate from it. Thanksgiving focuses on what God has done. Adoration praises God for who He is. Are there specific attributes, character qualities and/or perfections of God that you believe would be good for you to focus praise on him for?
4) Luke 2:15-17: When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
The shepherds took seriously that the angels gave them "good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Thinking about how their experience with God turned into sharing with others, discuss how our expriences with God can or should result in us sharing with others.