This post is a contribution to the Advent Synchroblog “Jesus Is Coming: What Do You Expect?” I’ll put links to other’s contribution at the end of this post as they become available.
I have expectations! I definitely have expectations!
They consist of me expecting a bunch of stuff to happen that will make life better. Not just for me – but for the world as a whole. And I think that is a good thing. These kind of expectations keep me getting up in the morning. These kind of expectations keep me looking for the good in people. These kind of expectations keep me believing that it will get better. These kind of expectations keep me hopeful. But expectations are only the beginning. It’s the unexpected things of life that have the potential to change us and the world we live in.
The Christmas story has a lot of unexpected things going on. A pregnant virgin, a baby who is God, a star that guides, angels making announcements to shepherds. Yes, Jesus burst onto the scene in an unexpected way, at an unexpected time, in an unexpected place, amid unexpected events – but that was only the beginning. Throughout his life we continue to see a pattern of the unexpected taking place.
His family was bewildered.
Religious leaders were perplexed.
His own followers were baffled.
He wasn’t supposed to wash his disciples feet!
Why wouldn’t he allow the sword to be taken up against those who were trying to have him killed?
Who would have thought he would spend time with a Samaritan woman or help an adulteress?
And then there was his death,
and his resurrection,
and his ascension.
You have to admit that if you hung out with Jesus you should be accustomed to the unexpected.
At Christmas I am reminded not only of the unexpected things that Jesus did but also that as a follower of Jesus I should be accustomed to doing unexpected stuff.
Loving my enemy.
Putting other’s interests before my own.
Sharing my resources generously.
Feeding the hungry.
Standing up for the oppressed.
Helping those who are sick or weak.
So let’s blow everyone’s mind this holiday season and do some unexpected stuff.
Like admitting that we Christians haven’t done a very good job at loving people who believe differently than us, much less loving our enemies.
Like being less concerned with structuring everything around what we believe to be right and wrong; and being more respectful of the rights of those who believe differently than we do.
Like being willing to give up some of our comforts, resources and rights so there will be less people who are poor, hungry, homeless and without healthcare.
Like being more humble about our knowledge of God.
Like loving and caring for others the way we love and care for ourself.
What unexpected things can you think of to do?
Be sure and check out these other Advent Reflections:
- Ron Cole at the weary pilgrim – advent: reimagining everything
- Liz Dyer at grace rules – expect the unexpected
- Sarah Styles bessey at emerging mummy – in which i’m expecting something from advent
- Miz Melly at perchance to dream – parousia
- Kathy Escobar at the carnival in my head – present, humble, vulnerable
- David Perry at Visual Theology – Advent As A Mirror of Possibility
- Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect?
- Liz VerHage at Living Theology
- Sally Coleman at Sally’s Journey – Come Spirit of Advent
- Jeremy Myers at Till He Comes – Jesus Is Returning Today
- Glenn Hager – Antithetical Advent
- Tammy Carter at Blessing The Beloved – His Gift … the way of escape!
- Ellen Haroutunian – Remember Our Story
- Carol Kuniholm at Words Half Heard – What I’m Waiting For
- Mihee Kim-Kort - Advent Expectations: Keep Awake
- Wendy McCaig – We’re Expecting A Baby
- John Reid at Blog One Another – Undiscovered Advent: The Second Coming of Christ
- Dave Wainscott – For Advent I’m Expecting What I Desire and What I Deserve
- David Henson – Reflections on the Second Sunday of Advent