Tom & I are sitting at Sydney Airport waiting to board our plane to the way back to Seattle. We have had a wonderful Christmas season with my family here in Australia but are now looking forward to being back ho,e. This is a good time to reflect on the Christmas season and all that has happened since we left home. So I thought that I would share some of my thoughts with you .
Christmas Day has come and gone, even the after Christmas sales far more exciting for some than the birth of Christ, are now well behind us. But did any of us really get what we expected? This season, long anticipated by many of us as the celebration of the birth of Christ our Saviour, often comes with unexpected consequences. The gifts never quite meet everyone’s expectations and leave behind mountains of wrapping paper and ribbon that will add yet more indestructible rubbish to the landfills.
The birth of Christ wasn’t quite what was expected either. Two thousand years ago he appeared in an unexpected place and in an unexpected way. His birth was ignored by the religious leaders who were looking for a king to increase their privilege and power. It threatened the political leaders who retaliated by vengefully killing all infants around Bethlehem. I am not sure that those who encountered the baby Jesus found what they expected either. The Magi after their long and arduous journey must have expected far more than an ordinary looking infant born to a young inexperienced mother. And the shepherds who experienced the incredible spectacle of angels singing in the heavens must have come looking for someone quite extraordinary.
Today too we often find in Jesus what we least expect. Maybe we have come looking for a child born in a stable, an unassuming infant whose advent makes us feel good but does not impose difficult demands. Instead we have found a revolutionary leader whose words and actions turned the world upside down.
Babies born in the backwater of civilization are easy to ignore. Yet even a child disrupts the world of its parents and makes demands that turn their world upside down. So it is with Jesus. We welcome him as a cute little baby but if we continue to journey with him, we soon realize that he wants to turn our world upside down. That cute little baby in the manger scene has indeed become a revolutionary leader who is slowly transforming everything we are and do.