Every day someone receives news that forever splits life in two, separating life-as-it-was into life-as-it-now-is. Often, it's a single word. Divorce. Cancer. Accident. Stroke. Layoff. Canceled. Lost. When it happens to us, we mark time by it. I will always remember the year my family migrated from Ohio to South Carolina even though I was very young. The move was traumatic for me, but it was also the year John F. Kennedy was assassinated, which was horrifying for the country.
Life being the messy mix it is, there's also the flip side of that coin. Every day someone receives news that alters life but in a positive way. Often, the goodness arrives in a single word. Cured! Engaged! Pregnant! Found! Yes! And when our lives are changed by such remarkable gifts, we might even say it's a miracle.
This is the season of breaking news. And it's all miracle really. Or mystery at least. Mary: God has chosen you to bear a child! (Yikes!) Joseph: don't be afraid because the child is God's! (Huh?!) Shepherds: go to Bethlehem to find your savior! (Really?!) World: the Redeemer of all creation just slipped in the side door while you were dozing in your darkness! (Nah...)
Yes, the news of God's arrival in flesh and blood on earth shatters not only our ideas of a properly behaving deity, but also our lives of fear and hopelessness and dread. And the entrance of Jesus into our history forever splits time... literally. Through the eyes of faith, we also see the two big bad boogers of sin and death as broken powers. Done. Kaput. So yesterday's news. And all this power shows up in a single word. Love. And then it continues to ring throughout the world and sing over all the earth with a single word: Peace. Because God shatters the silence and is the Word stitching up what's broken in us and all around us. Listen! Look! Believe! The news is good, and it breaks open the darkness with irrepressible light!