The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:33-35
I'm not one to brag, but I'm a super parent. Unlike those who live off the newborn high, it only took me a few hours to realize that I was way over my head. Our first daughter got her days and nights mixed up, so she was a sleeping angel during visiting hours, but morphed into a screaming banshee once the sun went down.
Working on very little sleep, I reached my breaking point and lost it in the middle of the hospital chapel. My bloodshot eyes soon filled with tears as I pleaded with God, letting Him know I wasn't ready for the responsibility of caring for another lifeform. I felt ill-equipped and utterly unprepared for my "new normal." And to top it off, when we left the hospital, they handed me a hefty bill rather than a user manual to care for my little one.
When we see a blue or pink bow on the front door of a house, we think, "How sweet! They have a brand-new bundle of joy!" The implications of a newborn extend far beyond a bow on the door. To a new mom or dad, the bow is barely noticeable because it doesn't compare to the demands that this welcomed blessing brings.
Gone is the old way of life: uninterrupted sleep, privacy, and quiet, just to name a few. In its place is a new way filled with car seats, formula, bottles and diaper bags. Newness requires adjustment. New replaces the old; it doesn't get added to it.
The arrival of the Christ is good news. I take that back. It's the best news ever told. We see manger scenes with angels and sheep marveling at sweet baby Jesus. It is a precious scene - one that appears much less intrusive than reality.
When Mary and Joseph took their new baby to the temple, Simeon pronounced that salvation has arrived. The new life was here, and his eyes had seen it firsthand. The repercussions of the Christ child go far beyond a manger scene. He offered a new path to freedom, contentment, and full life. A new King is here, and His proper throne is our hearts.
It is one thing to ponder the arrival of baby Jesus and the promise of new life He brings. But we must understand the implications this new life has on the replacement of our old ways, routines, and habits. They won't go away quietly, and there will be a fight. We prepare ourselves for the rumble by pausing and remembering. We must allow ourselves to get beyond the excitement of the new and let His life replace the old. An encounter with Christ reveals the state of our heart while exposing our motives.
His arrival will be a disruption to our old patterns of thinking and responding. The old ways of dealing with bad habits and difficult people get met with a new way. Old things don't go away easily or quickly. The new will disrupt the old. But it is a beautiful disruption that brings life and freedom as we surrender the former in light of the new.
How has the love of Christ been a beautiful disruption in your life?
Lord, I confess to You that my old ways are comfortable. Sometimes, I like the predictability of my old ways more than the promise of Your new. I recognize that Your life will replace mine and I embrace that with newfound faith. I ask that You help me to receive Your life and surrender mine. Remind me of the implications of Your new life. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.