advent week 1 – an unstoppable force meets an immovable object

Before participating in our Advent video or reading the blog, consider reading Luke 1:26-38 to prepare your heart for Delwin’s message.

There’s a classic philosophical concept that comes up in movies like “The Dark Knight”, or in songs like “Something’s Gotta Give” and even the great American cultural phenomenon of 1987…WrestleMania 3. 

It’s called the Irresistible Force Paradox: “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?” 

So what is the actual answer? Are there any real-life examples that put this paradox to the test? 

Enter stage right: you and I as tech or performing artists in church. If there’s one thing that you and I are certain will happen every single year without fail, whether in-person or by some beautifully done online service – it’s Christmas. That’s an unchangeable date, an incredibly tall task…an immovable object if there ever was one.  

The coming of the Christ himself was an immovable reality. The world at-large needed a savior, and the people of Israel had been promised that a Messiah would be given through the line of David. The stage was set and the people were waiting. But how would the Messiah come? 

In Luke chapter 1, the Angel of the Lord comes and meets with a teenage virgin named Mary. The conversation unfolds in a way that appears as though Gabriel drew the short straw in a “crucial conversation” contest. “Hey Mary! Don’t worry, God thinks you’re awesome and He really digs you.” No worries there… 

“You’re gonna have a kid, and he’s gonna be the king….How are you feeling about that?” I can feel the tension in the text. 

Then Mary asks this simple question, a question that everyone who’d heard about the coming Messiah throughout the generations was asking: “How will this happen?” 

Now the angel’s reply in this moment marks the entrance of the second player in our paradox: the unstoppable Force. 

35“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” 

The same Holy Spirit that was present at the beginning of time, hovering over the waters. The same Holy Spirit that David prayed wouldn’t be stripped away from him. The very same Holy Spirit would come over Mary and prove His power – the exact thing that was needed to bring about the coming of the Messiah. 

An unstoppable force meets an immovable object.  

There is an encouragement for you and me in this text. The rigors of preparing for our immovable event are sure to bring us long hours, short tempers, and tired souls. But the invitation is to embrace this reminder: the only way we are effective is if the Holy Spirit comes upon our work and the Most High overshadows us.  

As you enter this season, invite the Holy Spirit to overshadow your work so that people see Him more than they see the production. That should make it a Merry Christmas. 

Need some community and prayer during this time? Reach out to us and let us know how we can pray for you, your family, your team, and your church this holiday season!

Delwin Eiland

Delwin Eiland

Delwin Eiland is a worship pastor, musician and songwriter in Grand Rapids, MI. Prior to taking the role as Worship Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Delwin spent several years as a worship pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. He has served as the FILO Worship Leader since 2016. In addition to church leadership, Delwin enjoys nothing more than spending time with his wife, Ashlee, and three children. His music can be found on all music streaming platforms.

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MAY 2-3, 2023