Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I remember commenting in an adult Sunday school class, some years ago, that I found God to be the most unpredictable thing I could think of. It was an off-hand remark, not even a main point for anything I was trying to say, but I felt the air in the room change. I looked around and I saw a few faces that were not quite ready to hear that our "rock of salvation" could surprise us.
With advent, we look forward to the coming of Christ. Too often, that means looking for the child in a manger, "no crying he makes." Then we tend to be shocked that incarnation also means that child in the manger is still going to poop and, as babies will do given half a chance, that child will stick his hands in it and stir it up.
Mary was given a clue about this---Simeon told her a sword would pierce her own soul, too. We need to recall these things, all of it, the joy and the pain of the incarnation, of loving freely, of speaking truth to power openly.
I've seen many people die, and whether sudden or with weeks or months of foreknowledge, no one is every really prepared for it. It's the same with the joyful things. No one is really prepared for a baby. No one is fully prepared for a new job. Good News comes from stinky shepherds and the powers of the world tremble. Surprises are around every corner, behind every door.
Around every corner, behind every door, God meets us. Don't be surprised if it surprises you how.