The Unexpected

mangerThou hast kept my conversion fresh before me,
that season of my first spiritual comfort
when I passed through the Red Sea
by a way I did not expect. ~Valley of Vision

This is the nature of the Christmas story.  Even though so many of its details were foreshadowed and even foretold in prophesy, its elements are not what were expected.

  • God provides a plan of redemption for willfully, woefully fallen man. Something the angels could not comprehend.
  • He comes not in splendor and power, but in the form of a helpless baby.
  • He was born of a virgin…now THAT is an unexpected way of being “expecting”!
  • There were no crowds, no celebration upon His arrival in Bethlehem.
  • There was no room for Him, no plush accommodations, no reservation for a guest suite.
  • He was born to die. For that purpose, not just in the natural course of things as we experience.
  • The wood of the manger foreshadowed the wood of the cross. Wood from trees He created. Nestled into hay which He seeded.
  • His gifts were not baby gifts. They were the gifts of a King. Gold which represented His royalty, frankincense to convey the healing He would bring, and myrrh which foreshadowed His death and burial.
  • He came to present Himself as a free gift to free mankind of feverishly trying to do what “makes sense” …attempting their own redemption by the works of their own hands.

Does this make sense to you? Is it what you expect of God? Doubtless, the answer is no. We expect for God to treat us as we do others…they must pay for their wrongdoings toward us. Make restitution for their offenses. But God is not like us.

Consider this. The Free Gift has been given. It awaits you under the tree. Your name is on the tag. Receive it. Take it with your own two hands and open it for yourself. This eternally ancient Gift will make you new.

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