Collisions in life are usually things we try to avoid. In fact, a vehicle collision or a jarring hit in sports can often result in damage and pain. You find yourself suddenly and unexpectedly moved from where you were just a moment ago to somewhere else, moving in an entirely different direction. God’s grace can be like a collision, except that it’s a beautiful event. God’s grace is the most dangerous, life-disrupting, expectation-wrecking, smile-creating, counter-intuitive experience you can ever have, and it’s beautiful because it stops you in your tracks and commissions you for something new.
In the Old Testament, God disrupted many people’s lives with His grace and called them to do something different, dangerous and risky for the Kingdom of God. Moses’ life was disrupted by a burning bush; Jonah’s life was interrupted by a large fish and David’s life challenged by a giant. The Lord intended to show His people that by His grace, much could be accomplished. Slaves could be liberated, sinners could be saved, and fearsome enemies could be defeated.
God’s redemptive story is marked by disruptive grace. In the New Testament, after years of oppressive Roman rule, the story of Israel is disrupted by the most incredible display of God’s grace yet seen. Zechariah the priest is rendered speechless; a virgin named Mary becomes pregnant; and her fiancé Joseph is visited by an angel, all personal disruptions for the greater good of God’s people. But there’s more! God sent His only-begotten Son to personally disrupt the world forever. Jesus comes into the world and the disruptions of grace abound: a blind man sees, the sick are healed, evil spirits are driven away, sins are forgiven, and death is overcome.
God and Saul collided on the road to Damascus which lead to his miraculous conversion. He took on both a new name, Paul, and a history-shaping commission to preach the Gospel to those who had not yet heard the Good News of salvation. Each time the Gospel story was shared, it was another beautiful collision between God’s disruptive grace and His chosen people. And these disruptions by God’s grace-filled and faithful disciples just keep on reverberating down through the ages.
When we personally experience God’s grace, it is life changing. It should have a jarring effect, like a collision. But we also must understand that it is intended to commission us to be a “light on the hill” for Him. Grace meets us where we are and unleashes us to do so much more than we could have ever imagined we could accomplish. Grace – the truth that we don’t earn, but instead become the recipients of God’s good and delivering disruption – sets us free to follow Jesus as Lord. It forms us as vessels through whom He can work out His will in our lives and throughout history.
Glory be to the Lord on High for His disruptive grace!
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.