If you’ve ever been robbed or had something precious stolen you know the complete sense of violation that descends upon you like a thick fog. When something of yours is taken, it’s an assault on your sense of belonging and safety. Someone has crossed into your space and violated your ownership rights.
We had a car stolen from in front of our house in the middle of the night when I was in high school. Our family felt invaded. That injustice turned our hearts inside out. Part of the frustration of being robbed is being caught off-guard, taken advantage of secretly.
God doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t stalk around in the dark. Prior to his invasion as a man he gave advanced warnings through the prophets. Today, we have the whole story, Genesis to Revelation. There’s no reason to be taken by surprise. He invades our space, but he goes so with grace and humility.
And yet, so many around us are unaware that God has burst in upon their struggles. Precisely because God doesn’t manhandle our hearts into belief, many are left unaware of this ultimate invasion.
Advent gives us the opportunity to prepare for God’s break-in. This baby in the manger came to rupture the sin barrier, to straddle the chasm between holy God and fallen creation. Christmas is the time we celebrate and embrace this sacrificial movement of the Christ-child into our world.
This is one break-in we prepare for and welcome.