An unexpected Christmas

This morning as I think about this Christmas, I think about the many people I know for whom this Christmas is extra hard. It’s just not the Christmas they expected or wanted it to be. Some mourning the loss of a parent, others the loss of a spouse, and still others the loss of children. Many are separated from their spouse on this day due to military deployments or assignments. Many are laying sick or injured in a hospital bed or dealing with an life threatening disease. For many, it’s just not what they expected.

And then I also think about this day – the real Christmas Day that happened over 2000 years ago – and I think how that day didn’t go as people expected either. Our Savior, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords was coming. But he wasn’t coming to be born in a huge palace. Instead, he was born in a humble stable. That was unexpected.

His mother was an ordinary, young, teenage mother who wasn’t famous or well known. That was unexpected.

The first people to receive news of Jesus’ birth were the lowly, despised shepherds as they watched over their flocks. This was unexpected.

None of this was an accident, it was God’s plan. Jesus left his glorious home in heaven where everything is perfect to come down to this earth for us. He chose a humble beginning because he came to this earth to serve others and to save us – not to be a powerful earthly King. He wants us to adore him, not because of his power and riches, but because of his love for us. Because the gift he gives us is something money can’t buy and actions can’t earn.

The greatest gift we could ever receive is something we can’t buy or earn. That too is unexpected.

I pray you will receive this precious gift this year if you haven’t already. I pray you will have a very unexpected and beautiful Christmas this year.

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