This time last week, the world looked quite different than it does today. We were considering sacrificing something for Lent by choice. We were showing up to work everyday, participating in our usual activities. Our kids were in school. Our friends were meeting us for dinner.
This week, seemingly overnight, our lives have been interrupted by extraordinary circumstances. We have been forced to change so much of what we do - fast. We have needed to sacrifice so many of the things that just one week ago felt like basic norms in our lives that would never be interrupted - work, time with friends, gathering together worship, confidence in stocked shelves at the grocery store. And now here we are…emptied of all of what was extra. We’re full of other kinds of things - worry, new rhythms, uncertainty - but we’re empty of everything we took for granted a mere handful of days ago.
As we read Paul’s message to the Corinthian church, we are reminded that this process of being interrupted and emptied is holy ground for transformation. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, "You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” Jesus - the King of Kings - interrupted His being at the right hand of the Father, perfect and powerful in order to empty Himself of that privilege and become one of us. He entered into the poverty of the human experience in order to lead and ultimately save us - so that we could be invited into a new future.
By transforming Himself, Jesus transformed us and the entire order of our lives. He emptied Himself so we could be filled. He sacrificed His life so we could live. Interruption is holy ground - and transformation lives here. Here, because we’re in the quiet, still space of an interruption crawling across the globe… and because in this interruption, we are invited to receive the grace of Jesus and step into a season of emptying ourselves and be transformed.
This isn’t just an interruption, it’s an invitation. This moment in history is an invitation to trust God with all of our uncertainty and worry. It’s an invitation to spend less time participating in the machine of life and s l o w d o w n. It’s an invitation to notice our neighbors, to let our hearts grow fonder in the absence of their company. It’s an invitation to go outside and breathe in the fresh air and notice how, even in dire circumstances, tulips still break through the recently frozen ground. It’s an invitation to surrender - to pause - to be.
Interruption is holy ground, and we’re all standing on it now - together. May we respond openly to this invitation, and all be transformed for good.