So the season begins… the crazy, cookie-filled, upside-down, right-side-up, non-stop music, wacky, zany, can’t see straight for all the lights season is upon us. Some have been celebrating since Jack Skellington came down their chimney on Halloween night. Others are still not ready to begin the gauntlet. And the rest of us are probably somewhere in between.

Church offers us a different kind of season compared to the one we see in the world around us. While everyone else devolves into a frantic frenzy, we are invited to stop. To breathe deeply. To listen in silence. To welcome God’s coming presence. Most importantly, we are asked to keep our eyes open for the unexpected in our midst.

You see, when Christ entered the world, it was not as everyone thought God would appear. Who would expect phenomenal cosmic powers to arrive in a helpless baby of little means? What God chooses to do that? What God selects an unwed teenage mother to carry this baby? What about selecting shepherds, the next worst thing to slaves, to be the first to receive the good news so they could visit? Or allowing foreigners of other religions to worship God-made-flesh? Then let the baby and his family have to flee a child-killing tyrant and become a refugee?

The road to Bethlehem is filled with shocking stories. As is the aftermath of God’s arrival in this world. Because God does not act the way we expect – God’s ways are not our ways, nor God’s thoughts our thoughts. God always appears where we least expect, partially because we have keep our eyes so focused on what the world expects God to do.

This Advent, I invite you to enter back into God’s salvation story with new eyes. New ears. A new heart, flung wide open that you might begin to truly understand more of God’s true purposes here on earth. Perhaps then the unexpected will become far more visible and tangible in our midst. And then, well then we can really see where God wishes us to continue the ministry of God-with-us, the Christ-child himself.

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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