Jesus’ birth teaches us to look for God in unexpected places

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There are a number of readings that you might hear today, but there is a common theme in all of them: God’s plans defy human expectations.

In Jesus’ time people were awaiting the Messiah, but they had certain expectations of who the Messiah would be. A mighty king. A powerful leader. A revolutionary. These are the images that people had of a Messiah.

While Jesus was a great king, leader, and revolutionary, he wasn’t what people expected. Rather than being born in a palace, surrounded by wealth, this mighty king was born in a stable, surrounded by animals. Rather than being the son of influential people or social elites, this powerful leader was born to a humble couple from a small town.

And his revolution? It begins by inviting shepherds,  those who were poor, lonely and isolated, to witness the most blessed event in human history.

How difficult must it have been to see the God of the universe in this small, helpless infant? God shatters our expectations to show us his unlimited and unbounded love. Jesus Christ entered our world in a lowly way in order to raise up the lowly. 

You’d think that since we know this story that we would adjust our expectations, but God continues to defy them, and Jesus continues to appear in unexpected places. He is that man begging for money on the corner. He is that woman migrating to an unknown land for the sake of her children. He is sitting across from you.

On this Christmas Day let us celebrate Jesus Christ who enters our world and into our humanity. Let us strive, in the spirit of Christmas, to not only find God in all things but in particular, in the places we least expect.

Jesus Christ, bringer of all hope, thank you for your great love and faithfulness. Help me to see you in every person that I meet. Open my heart and my eyes to see you where I least expect, including within myself.

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