December 20, 2021

Advent 2021 - When He's Completely Unexpected

 Devotion for the Week...

Here we are, the last few days before Christmas. Are your presents all bought and wrapped? We're still waiting for a few things to come in the mail, stocking stuffers haven't even been started and nothing is wrapped. It's about right where we are at this time every year, lol.

For this year's Advent devotions, I've been focused on the timing of God. We started by looking at the fulness of time, then when He's early and then when He's late. Today I want to look at when He's completely unexpected.

For quite a few years now, the shepherds have been my favourite part of the Christmas story. They were men at the very bottom of society, thought to be so unreliable that they weren't allowed to testify in court. They were the ones polite society would have avoided. They were also the ones who got a special invitation from God to go and meet His newborn Son. That, to me, was God's way of showing us that absolutely everyone is welcome to come to Jesus, with no exceptions.

We find their story in Luke 2, where it begins, "That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.'" (vv. 8-12).

The shepherds were just having an ordinary night at work, looking after their sheep. They had no thought that the Messiah would be coming or that they would be involved in any way if he did. He wasn't on their radar at all, and then suddenly an angel interrupted their night with the news that He had been born and that the shepherds should go meet Him. Say what????

God changed the timeline for Mary, making her a mom before she expected it to happen, and He did the same for Elizabeth much later than she would have liked, but at least both of them had some expectation of motherhood. The shepherds would never have expected to meet the Messiah, whom everyone assumed would be a king, or at the very least a person of too much importance to want anything to do with lowly shepherds.

The shepherds dropped everything when the angel left them. They could have decided they were imagining things, or that they couldn't be bothered to walk to Bethlehem. Instead, they "said to each other, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child" (vv. 15-17).
What do we do when God interrupts our lives |
What do we do when God interrupts our normal lives? Do we run straight towards it, embracing what He has placed before us? Or do we shy away, clinging to the familiar and the plan we had all mapped out? His plan is different from anything we might plan for ourselves and sometimes that's going to mean He springs something on us completely unexpectedly. Sometimes, what we do in those moments could mean the difference between an ordinary night at work and getting to meet the newborn Messiah.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful message, never really looked at Jesus' birth from the shepherds veiw.


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