Advent Devotion - 12/30/16

“Surprises at Christmas”

 Scripture Reference:  2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Focus:  Amid the most unlikely of circumstances, to the most unlikely of people, God became a human being to reconcile all peoples to himself. (http://www.crivoice.org/cyxmas.html; “The Christmas Season” by Dennis Bratcher)

 My dad loved Christmas like a kid, and he delighted in holiday surprises.   We begged to open his special gifts early!  He would usually concede a few days before Christmas.  I still smile when I think of the special gifts he surprised us with…a coke-can lamp, a large package filled with many smaller wrapped gifts each containing a piece of jewelry, my first “jam box” as we called them way back then!  Another surprise I remembered was a gift to my grandparents.  My dad’s parents lived in Alabama.  We drove 12 hours at Christmas, and only my mom’s mom knew we were making this holiday trip.  Imagine the surprise, joy, and excitement when we pulled up in front of my grandparents’ house for family Christmas. 

That Christmas is remembered for smiles and excitement that came from the surprise!

 Phillip and I have continued to enjoy holiday surprises and making our own family memories.  One Christmas, Santa brought Disney tickets.  It seemed like Christmas all year as we anticipated our summer trip to Orlando.  The wait was long, but it was a fabulous trip, one that we still smile and reminisce about.  Another year, train tickets and plans for NYC were a big surprise.  Cherished memories come from these experiences.

 I surprised Phillip one Christmas.  Just before Christmas 2000, I learned that I was pregnant.  Phillip was caught up in the holiday craziness and wasn’t aware.  I decided to reveal this news with a Christmas morning surprise.  I placed a note in his stocking letting him know that his best gift would arrive in August – our second child.  Phillip was truly excited and filled with joy and anticipation! 

 There was great anticipation about the arrival of Baby Jesus many years ago, and there was great joy when he arrived on Christmas day, in a stable.  It wasn’t fancy, but he was an awesome gift to a world in need!  Our world has greatly changed, but we still need Jesus.  I hope your Christmas had elements of surprise, anticipation and joy.  And I challenge you to share that with somebody you know!

 Lisa Brown