The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:9-11
I’m not a fan of driving in general, but I absolutely despise traveling for the holidays. As much as I adore my extended family, I do everything in my power to avoid getting behind the wheel and jumping on I-95. The times when a trip up north to Maryland is inevitable, I dream of a smooth trip with nothing but open roads. Instead, what I always encounter is gridlock, especially around Fredericksburg, Virginia (for some strange reason).
As I sit in standstill traffic and mutter under my breath, I find myself wondering if the delay is construction related or due to a fender bender. More often than not, it’s a construction zone that is the culprit, but there have been occasions when what I see as I pass by is a gruesome accident that is almost too surreal to believe. Mangled metal lies littered all across the road while another car is flipped over on the median. My initial reaction is to shut my eyes, but I can’t help but look. There is just something about a collision that grips us and grabs our attention.
We don’t know what do when someone’s world has been altered and shaken to its’ core. Yet we are all bound to experience a collision that will turn our world upside down. Just like the accident on the highway, it is a matter of life and death. This encounter will alter our reality and the way we perceive the world. It’s a collision between what we thought life was and what it really is. Rather than hiding our failures, we are able to see the beauty in our brokenness because we realize we are no longer the person picking up the pieces.
In a dusty, old manger in Bethlehem, a collision took place that shocked the world to its core. God entered humanity through the birth of Jesus Christ. He came to dwell among us and bring us life. From the moment of impact, the world witnessed grace, mercy, love and true forgiveness in ways never before seen. The peak of this example was seen years later on a cross. Rather than leaving us in a thousand different pieces, this encounter with Christ opened up a way to heal our brokenness.
The beauty of this collision is found in an invitation to live a life filled with freedom and hope. When we collide with the Christ, we can find the very fullness of life our heart has been yearning for. The truth is when we see Him, we are able to see ourselves in a new light. But the impact depends on what we do with the disruption His arrival caused.
Many of us do not know what to do with Jesus so we often seek to redefine Him. But, the essence of grace cannot be redefined. It stands the test of time. Grace is a free gift that can only be received, not earned. Grace is volatile, yet stable. It is the most solid thing in the universe but can evaporate in an instant depending on our response to the encounter. When we collide with grace, we come face to face with forgiveness extended. The impact of this collision depends on how we respond to grace. If we run to it with open arms, our lives will never be the same.
When do you remember your story colliding with God’s story? How did this encounter shape and influence the person you are now?
God, You have brought light into the world and light into my life. I will allow You to enlighten my heart and expose my sin, to be drawn to You as Your child. Your arrival has given me this right. I place my faith in this reality. Help me to be a giver of Your light and to offer Your peace as I celebrate and cherish Your arrival. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.