January 7, 2020

What Did You Expect?

What did you expect?

Did you expect a Christmas miracle that would turn tense family relationships into joy at the dinner table? Did you set extra chairs in the sanctuary expecting an overflow crowd? Did you hope that hearing the Christmas story would bring you peace? Whether you daily meditated around an Advent wreath or shopped, wrapped, cleaned house, baked, hosted, and mixed cocktails for the party, what were you hoping for the most?

We hold such high, hopeful expectations for Christmas. When they shatter like a fragile ornament, shards pierce our soul with loss and regret.

That’s when the first 18 verses of John’s Gospel come in handy.

Read them slowly and deeply, by which I mean, no skimming over parts that seem too mystical for your practical preference for Luke’s nativity story. John’s opening verses powerfully capture the true origin of Jesus and his identity.

He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. ...No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. – John 1: 2-4;18

Jesus: of God, from God, is God.

Regardless of what we expected, this is our reality, hope and joy. Anxieties, disappointments, grief, fears and tragic mistakes are real and heavy, but they cannot overcome this light of Christ that shines from God’s heart into our own.

While you are meditating on the identity of Jesus, consider also your own identity proclaimed in John 1: 12-13:

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

You are God’s own child.

God’s love truly surpasses our wildest expectations.

This blog is part of a series for the Good Book Club. Learn more about the Good Book Club here.