There it was. Glaring back at me on my mobile device. An unexpected deposit to my account. I had figured I should check my account balance before I headed to the grocery store. There had been too many debits and unexpected expenses that I just wanted to make sure what was still available in the account. But, this morning, it wasn’t the usual amount I expected to see. The amount I had anticipated, but an unexpected joyful deposit. A gift of sorts.
How you ever had the same thing happen? Someone deposited in your account when you weren’t expecting it? Or maybe it wasn’t money, but maybe a gift from someone. You hear the doorbell ring and there is the delivery person, handing you a package that was completely unexpected. It probably made your day.
With Christmas coming soon, I was reminded of just how unexpected Jesus’ birth was. I mean it was anticipated. It was predicted. The Bible contains multiple prophecies about the coming Messiah. The Jewish people knew of His coming and anticipated it, but when it did happen, they weren’t expecting it. For Mary and Joseph as well, they knew the baby Mary was carrying was the Messiah, the Savior of the world, but did they expect to be staying in a stable? More than likely they thought they would find a place to stay. The stable was totally unexpected. They knew the baby would come soon as they headed out to Bethlehem, but did they expect Jesus’ birth that night they arrived? Probably not.
As a mom of three, I can tell you that while my Husband and I anticipated and planned for the births of each child, I went into labor unexpectedly. On their and God’s timing, not ours. I didn’t expect one to take so long, another to to take so short a time, and another to be the average time of the other two. Anticipation is different than something happening unexpectedly.
The shepherds in the hills around Bethlehem weren’t expecting to see a chorus of angels around them as they settled down beside their sheep that night. It was probably only the wise men from the east, who had really studied the stars and calculated where and when the King of the Jews had been born that expected the location and timing of Jesus’ birth. The Bible tells us that King Herod, must have not realized Jesus had been born either, since he allowed a two year time frame in considering assassinating all the Jewish boys, that he might find the Messiah the wise men had told him about. He hadn’t expected a threat to his throne from a baby boy.
So, as we are all anticipating Christmas this year, will we find the unexpected? Will Christmas arrive as usual, as expected and then soon pass until another year? Or will you find Him in the little manger scene, or listening to a familiar carol, or reading of Scripture, the expected one. The Messiah for you. Not the world. But for you. The one who is offering to wipe the slate clean. To mark your account paid in full. No more working hard to be a perfect person, to try to get karma or whatever on your side. Will you see Jesus, the unexpected. Will you let Him to deposit into your life, His? Here’s the good news, He’s just waiting for you to make the move and still here’s more good news; He is coming back.Are you expecting Him? God Bless- Nancy