This past Saturday, I broke into a car. I had permission to do so from the driver—she had locked her keys in her trunk—so we found a wire hanger and I got to work. (Do note: this happened in the parking lot of Brite Divinity School’s student housing, so it was nice to share my gifts as a proud alum.) After a few attempts to jam the hanger through the weather stripping, then fashioning a hook, and finally twisting the thing and experimenting, I popped the lock, she popped the trunk, and all was well with the world.
I have never done that before, or seen it done—this was just a beautiful “Eh, why not,” kind of moment. There was no harm in trying, it was a consequence-free environment, and I had nothing better to do at that moment but try it out. This speaks a truth to our faith and to this season of Advent as we prepare and realign: Just because something has not been done before does not mean it cannot be done. That is, just because your senior minister had not broken into a car before does not mean he could not do so. Just because we have not tried certain ministries and ideas before does not mean we cannot. Just because God had not done something so revolutionary as to become human and live among us does not mean God could not, or would not.
I recognize this toes a line of dangerous theology, and I am by no means saying, “Do whatever you want because you can,” nor am I saying that all of the stuff God hasn’t done, for better or worse, God can (and thus will) do in the future. What should temper our actions, and what does temper God’s actions, is love.
Love is a rejection of power. Love is a rejection of control. Love challenges us to serve and not worry about being served. Love embodies sacrifice, grows in weird places, and creates changes that cannot be made any other way. We’ll be talking about love this Sunday, as it is the Advent theme, and an important topic anyway. If you want to get ahead of the game, I encourage you to read the book of Jonah this week (it’s not very long but it’s very important); I also want you to think about the craziest, most impossible ideas you’ve had for Midway Hills that have always been tempered by, “We could never do that,” and then I want you to approach it with, “But maybe we can.”
Let’s dream big, let’s love larger, and I’ll see you Sunday.