This Christmas, Be Prepared to be Surprised

By: Jan Lashbrook
As we celebrate Jesus’ humble entrance into the world, may we be reminded that our God can work through us in mysterious yet profound ways. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him”! (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Have you ever been taken by surprise by a beautiful gift that came in rather unimpressive packaging? If so, you might not have been all that excited to open it because it’s not typically the way we choose to wrap expensive or precious gifts for loved ones. We want the recipient to know how special our gift is, so we use our most beautiful wrapping paper and embellish with with carefully chosen, elegant bows.

This month we celebrate the gift of Jesus, God’s only Son. He was an unexpected gift, born in an unexpected place, wrapped in a well-worn cloth and placed in a lowly manger; not the packaging we would expect for the future King and Savior of the world. And no one in the town of Bethlehem noticed. No one cared. There wasn’t a press release or a parade. There wasn’t even a birth announcement—only a lone star in the east, guiding a few shepherds and wise men who believed the angels who brought news of His birth.
This month we celebrate the gift of Jesus, God’s only Son.
His unexpected entrance into our world shows us the depth of God’s love for us—that He would send His son to be born silently in a stable, into a world of conflict, struggles, and oppression. He was born to bring hope in the midst of despair and light into the midst of darkness. He was born to humble people, in the most humble of places. He was born to die for the sins of a lost world that wasn’t expecting Him.

The way Jesus came into our world is just as important as the fact that He came at all. We see in Scripture that God often chooses the simple over the complex and the foolish to confound the wise. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. I Corinthians 1:27 (NIV)
His unexpected entrance into our world shows us the depth of God’s love for us.
He’s a God of unexpected surprises. He chooses to work in our lives in unexpected ways, using unconventional methods and unlikely people to accomplish His plan and purposes. Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him? James 2:5 (NIV)

In what unexpected ways has God shown up in your life lately? Is it a person He’s put in your path to help? Is it a supernatural peace in spite of difficult circumstances that you can’t seem to understand or control? Is it a whisper in your ear to do something that, humanly speaking, just doesn’t make sense but you know He wants you to do it anyway?

In what unexpected ways has God shown up in your life lately?
I pray that your Christmas season is filled with unexpected gifts, and that He uses you and me to bring unexpected love joy, peace, and grace to those on our path who need it most. Just as the light of the stable long ago radiated into the cold night, the light of His message radiates today into a lost and dying world—through us, His disciples.

Merry Christmas!


Jan Lashbrook is the Early Childhood Program Director at Calvary Christian Academy. She and her husband are “empty-nesters,” having raised three children who are all grown and married. Their youngest attended CCA for 12 years, graduating in 2012.
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