When you consider the birth of Jesus, one word comes up - unexpected! There were thousands of people expecting and anticipating the Messiah to come, but NOBODY imagined the way he actually arrived: in a manger, dirt poor, to a very young couple who just rode in on a donkey. And I love it because it is just so God. He consistently shows up in the most unexpected, amazing ways. However, it also kind of bothers me because like so many others, it's easy for me to miss Him because I have my own expectations of what He's going to do or how He will appear. Can anyone relate?
As I was preparing for this week, I read the account of Jesus' birth in Luke 2. Afterwards, I could not get the thought of the shepherds out of my mind. There they were, going about their regular daily lives. They had set up the night watch for the sheep and were camping on the hillside settling in for a night of watching and listening. Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, an angel appeared to them, followed by a message about their Savior, and then a choir of angels singing (can you even imagine?!!). Who knows what those shepherds had been going through that day. Maybe it was the worst day of their lives, maybe the best. Perhaps they had been frustrated trying to herd the sheep (oh, I think I can relate! I just call my kids sheep!). Regardless, in the midst of their ordinary lives, God had a message of LOVE and HOPE and AMAZEMENT for them that they were most definitely not expecting.
So today, and everyday this week, ask yourself, "Why not today?" Why not today for God to reach out to you with His message of LOVE and HOPE and AMAZEMENT in the most unexpected of ways? Let's practice opening up to the unexpected! Notice where you are holding onto expectations and let them go. Like our first verse of this Advent series said, let's look up and focus on Jesus...
"Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective." Colossians 3:2
We've got not just one, but two songs for you this week. You know that we love to give you "tools" to help underscore our weekly theme, and one way you can join us in this practice is by starting your day with this week's first song and watching the video that goes with it. Remember that Jesus wants to walk this Advent with you! Listen to the lyrics: My love a beacon in the night. My words will be your light. To carry you to me.
Next, see if you're up for accepting our challenge this week. We are going to spend our days collecting Love (see video at the top). Notice EVERY TIME you see or experience Love around you. You can just keep track of it in your head, or actually jot it down somewhere. At the end of your day, listen to our second song as you recollect all of the ways that Love showed up that day. Did it show up soft and slow, or rushing like a strong wind? Was there anything unexpected? We encourage you to take the time to thank our great God for showing up. Spend time adoring Him. Maybe even invite your family/friends to do this with you. Please share with us in the comments below or on Facebook, telling us what you saw that surprised you.
Lisa is a deep-thinker, a philosopher in cute jeans and flip flops, a Nutty Professor - mom style. She recognized God's presence at an early age and has lived life mostly open to Him. She hears His voice in books, movies, and music - no matter the genre! She is serious about the work of living Loved, loving God, and loving people.