Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

 

As I was leaving for work one morning this week, this blooming flower in my garden caught my eye. It was a taste of early spring in late fall in Advent colors. It delighted me because it was so unexpected. It reminded me that Advent is a season to invite us to expect the unexpected. Mary did not expect to receive a visit from an angel asking her to welcome the life of Jesus in her womb. John the Baptist did not expect to be the herald of God.  Joseph did not expect to welcome a pregnant Mary into his home. The people of Israel did not expect their Savior to be more like them than unlike them.

Advent invites us to think about how ready we are for the unexpected when it comes to God’s plan for us. The gift of Christmas is that God loves us so much, he became one of us, to call us to live with him now and forever. What we learn is that with God, you have to expect the unexpected.  It seems to me that as we age, we are much more comfortable with fewer surprises than more surprises. Yet our faith invites us to be childlike in our ability to be delighted by the unexpected, to be moved by the wonder of God’s love, to trust God, our loving Father.

In these weeks leading up to Christmas when we get buried in the details of planning for the days of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feeling like finding the perfect gift, setting the perfected table, creating perfect Instagram-worthy moments, we forget Christmas at its best is a reminder that what we think can’t happen, with God, can happen. Imagine a Christmas in which you see a way to reconciliation with someone you love who is distant at the moment. Imagine a Christmas in which there is a breakthrough toward peace in places in the world engulfed in war. Imagine a Christmas in which you see in a new way how God is present and active in the most unexpected ways in your life. God is inviting us to let our minds wander to what might be possible if we look at it from God’s point of view. Listen carefully to the readings at Mass. We here that crooked paths can be made straight, that light can find its way into the darkest corners of our world, that thirst quenching water can be found in a desert.  Pondering these kinds of big dreams is possible when we see evidence of the unexpected in the little things. Where did you find the unexpected this week?