It is the first time in a number of years we are not at midnight mass for Christmas and I look forward to the day we will get back to it – well church all together. But we have a special virtual mass with music and candles and all the works ready to go! And this making of plan B has actual got me thinking a lot about how the whole reason for the season has some pretty unexpected moments.
If you were to expect a king that would save the world, would you imagine him to enter the world a teeny tiny baby? Would you look for Him to have two quiet, meager and assuming parents of very limited resources? Would you look for Him to lay with animals?!!? No … but God’s plans, His great design, His way is so beyond our own understanding and expectation…. and it literally has the power to change the world. So when things are not as we expect, perhaps we could think of them more as a chance to peak behind the the curtains and know God is at work.
One of my absolute FAVORITE aspects of Christmas to focus on Mary and her journey. This whole story starts with her …. giving up EVERY plan, vision, thought she had for her life and saying YES to God’s. I literally have to tell God DAILY – whoops! Sorry, let me let go of my wants and get to searching for ways to follow Your plan. Mary Did just that as a young woman who faced something that would risk death to her… being ostracized…. losing her betrothed! And this year I heard a homily that said Mary did not fear the angel Gabriel appearance – like I always thought- but rather of the plans God has because she could not see how they were possible. And my heart was even more united to that of Our Lady. She knows my heart and my fears… but she chose to go forward and look what it did… GAVE US A SAVIOR! And now that I have been through having a baby…. I consider her experience if first time motherhood in a barn with a guy who knew nothing a true miracle… and the reminder that Mary’s journey would bring great things to us people, but none of it would be easy….. even if the choice was right. This message hits me so powerful EVERY YEAR, and I often learn a new aspect to its unexpected nature. Mary thank you for sharing your fear and giving your yes.
The final message that came to me this Christmas Season was how Jesus changes everything – that is the point. And He often changes it in ways that throw what we know… what we find comfortable … and expected out the window. One of the most powerful things I learned in one of my Lenten Studies this year was that in the ancient culture children were not revered, cherished, or valued. In fact they were often viewed as an option for slavery or as a bargaining tool (likely to put into slavery). But so often we see images or statues of Jesus surrounded by children… I just figured, well yea Jesus is a good guy so He loves kids. He says in the Bible “let the little children come to me”. Well this wasn’t just an example of his love or representative of all of us as kids of God, but literally Jesus showing the people of His age, His arrival would brig change and unexpected new ways to view the world.
Unexpected is actually Jesus speciality and plans that move to B or “Z”- throw them allllll out and give everything to God- might be the ones he loves best! So hard for my a type, planner mind to even type it, but it’s true. So as we enjoy the magic and blessing for the season, hopefully the unexpected brings us closer to the most beautiful unexpected there ever was….. glory to the new born King!!!!
Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas!