A king, undercover, born into poverty with a master plan to save all mankind, a father who chose adoption over rejection, two parents on the run – risking everything to save their miracle child, and a courageous teenage peasant girl who showed the world that she was capable of keeping her eyes above the waves of her current crisis.
It’s a wild story, y’all. But the wildness that takes my breath away is that this first Christmas was unplanned, inconvenient, and disruptive – a far cry from most of our Christmases this year.
The going topic of conversation is, “what are your Christmas plans?” Most of ours will be steeped in yearly traditions, tried-and-true recipes, sentimental Christmas ornaments, cozy matching Christmas jammies, and the same movies we watch year after year. Predictable and stable, warm and fuzzy.
But for me and many of my friends and family, we are faced with an Unexpected Christmas this year. We are less in numbers than ever before. We are spending Christmas in Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities, stuck out of state with no means to get “home,” in marriages that are worn out and silent, in a jumpsuit facing trial for theft, in a hospital room where recovery is steady but heavy, in mourning for the child we lost, in-between houses because mom and dad split, and attending a funeral for a classmate gone too soon.
Those two words change everything.
But God saw fit to turn the Unexpected into the unbelievable, the wilderness into the birthplace, and the current crisis into the Greatest Story Ever. Because that’s who God is and that’s what He does – He makes beauty from ashes, a savior from a zygote, and the most amazing ending from an unexpected, inconvenient, and disruptive beginning.
If you’re in the midst of an Unexpected Christmas, take heart – God’s got this. Pray that this disruption would be the birth of something new, that this current crisis could be your fertile ground, and this Unexpected Christmas tunes your heart to expect Christ even more… because, isn’t that what Christmas is about anyway?