I work as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. During the Christmas season of my second Christmas with the Postal Service the hours were beginning to get to me.
My attitude was sliding fast. But while working one Sunday delivering packages, I approached a house and knocked on the door. An elderly woman came to the door, and when I handed her the package, she began to cry. Someone had sent her something she didn’t expect. Thus changing my perspective.
This is not unlike what God has done for each one of us. The Jews expected a king to come in and raise up an army to defeat the Roman Empire. They didn’t expect a baby. The disciples were expecting a revolution. They didn’t expect a crucifixion. The world expected things to go on as they always had. They didn’t expect the cultural shift.
In Paul’s letter to the Roman church, he says that we have all sinned. This is man’s destiny due to what took place in the Garden of Eden. Paul also mentions that sin requires death. This is why the Jews, on a yearly basis would bring a sacrifice to the temple for the remission of their sins.
John the Baptist, upon seeing Jesus when he came to be baptized, said, Behold, the lamb of God. Who takes away the sins of the world. In Hebrews 10:10 it says we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Definitely an unexpected gift. This Christmas season let us lay down expectations and allow God to work in our hearts. To fill our hearts with gratitude and joy.
Do you find it interesting that the holidays begin with Thanksgiving and end with the celebration of newness? And what is right in the middle? An unexpected birth in an unlikely place to a couple who had expectations of their own. But God stepped in and life has never been the same.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it is the gift of his life that has set me free.