I know that you were not expecting these daily Advent encouragements to begin until this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, but this year has been full of the unexpected, and many of life’s greatest blessings come to us in unexpected ways, at unexpected times and through unexpected people and events.
While the entry of the Messiah into earthly existence in human form (the Christmas event) was the ultimate expectation of the people of God in the Old Testament, no-one expected a saviour who would take flesh as a baby born in a cave to an unknown young couple, and whose public ministry would last for only three years before he was (quite unexpectedly) executed as a criminal.
Let’s not miss the significance of this: Jesus comes to us in the unexpected.
I’m reminded of the sub-title of Tolkien’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
My problem is that I plan and programme my days as if my life depended on every detail in my diary. If it’s not in my planner I’m likely to call it an interruption or distraction.
Yes Jesus meets me in my discipline and my planning, but my achievement of my goals is usually a bit of a let-down, perhaps because more often than not my expectations are limited by my limited plans and dreams.
In the unexpected events, moments and encounters, an-other breaks into my too-often rigid routines. This OTHER is often the presence and action of Jesus, breaking into our lives.
“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something…
You certainly usually find something, if you look,
but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
“The Hobbit. An Unexpected Journey” JRR Tolkien
- Today, expect to meet Jesus in the unexpected (and even the unwanted) moments and encounters. If you are not sure in the moment if this is Jesus, ask him directly: “Jesus is this you?” His response will most often be a very clear yes or no.
- You might like to share the Food for Faith for Advent invitation with others, either by forwarding the Facebook link to anyone who might be interested, or suggest they search “Food For Faith” to sign up to receive daily Advent emails.
- If you would like to share a comment from your own experience that could be an encouragement to others please do so below.