Preview: Inbreaking | The Kingdom Come At Christmas
The 2017 Vineyard Christmas Devotional is being used by churches across the country. Uniquely designed as a Christmas gift booklet for congregations and as an outreach tool for neighbors and co-workers, INBREAKING will take every reader on a powerful devotional experience through Christmas.
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INBREAKING: The Kingdom Come At Christmas
The entire Bible is about the epic history, the world-shaping saga, of God’s redemptive purpose for humankind.
In John 1:1-4a, we read these powerful words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind….”
When God Breaks In
Advent (noun): The arrival, appearance, emergence of a notable person, thing, or event.
Inbreaking (noun): A breaking in, an inroad, invasion, or incursion.
The Approach of Christmas
For many followers of Jesus worldwide, is known as the season of Advent. It is a time of anticipating the “arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” In the Christmas story, we find all three definitions of Advent happening at one time:
- The arrival of Jesus (a notable person)
- The activities surrounding His birth (a notable event)
- The inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.
At the birth of Jesus, an inroad occurred into the human plight. Hear again the words of John 1:4 – “…In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” In other words, light breaks into darkness – and the darkness cannot overcome it. Advent is the story of the process, the way, that God chose to break in to the fearful, stubborn, resistant, desperate story of humanity. And how God does something is as important as what He does.
An Inbreaking In Recent History
When the Allied Forces in WWII needed to break through enemy lines on the beach of Normandy, France, they had a strategy.
Facing them on that beach was a steeled and entrenched resistance force, hardened by battle and resolved to vanquish anyone landing on the soil.
Here is the fascinating story of what we now know as D-Day (a military term simply denoting the key day that a large-scale assault will occur):
“During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British, and Canadian forces landed on ve beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe” (section from History.com).
How Inbreakings Work
While a military analogy may not be as in vogue today as it may have been in previous years, it remains a powerful metaphor for how a sacred incursion into the human heart occurred over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem – at Christmas. How do inbreakings occur?
1. First, there is a complex and well- prepared strategy. A strategy is a plan, a pre-determined, well-thought out, goal- oriented, and visionary process by which a desired breakthrough will be achieved.
2. Secondly, there is a defined battlefront. The battlefront is the place where all the activities of the challenge will play out. Its terrain will determine the strategy; if it’s a land battle, boats are useless. If it’s a sea battle, one should leave the tanks at home. If it’s a battle for the heart? Then love will have to lead it.
3. Thirdly, there is a moment of head-on engagement. When the resistance is high, and diplomacy has failed, something needs to give. And as we see in the biblical story of the Advent of Jesus at Christmas, it was God who gave (John 3:16) to engage the world in love – with the goal of freedom in clear view.
The Inbreaking God At Christmas
In the Bible, we watch God the Father’s strategy unfold for breaking through to the resistant, stubborn, and entrenched human heart. It may surprise us to know that Jesus, whom we often speak about in terms of love, goodness, and kindness – was also bent on destruction! But what did Jesus come to destroy? What was His battlefront, His point of inbreaking? “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 8:8b).
The Day God Broke Through
INBREAKING is about the way God made His advance – confronting darkness and shining light into the heart of the world He loves. Bless you as we enter into the story of God’s inbreaking at Christmas.
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