What are you expecting this Christmas? Like any other day of the year, we actually have very little control of the final outplaying of Christmas day. And the God who’s in control seems to like surprises.
There’s the mum who has always loved a symmetrical Christmas tree… but in the name of sharing the joy with her kids allowed them to decorate it this year. Lopsided. Well done.
There’s the family who are planning to welcome young professional posted here with no nearby relatives to share lunch with them lunch between his work shifts. What will he think of the mess of presents and toddlers? Well done.
And the family who pile into the car each Christmas eve to “baking bomb” a family from their church… all tiptoeing up to the door, quietly placing the baked goods on the doorstep, the littlest one pressing the doorbell, and all sprinting back to the car… usually being caught and always laughing (til the littlest ones have a fall and there are tears). Well done.
And the family who approach the day with dread. Fitting too many world views and personalities into one mealtime. The excess of presents some of which are blatantly in contradiction to the way they are trying to raise their children. Treading lightly. Trying to appease and keep the peace. Glad for the solace of Boxing Day. Well done.
The parents who will be without extended family for the first time ever. Wary that such a precious day will slide quietly into the haze of every other summer day. Wracking their brains for ways to make it special for the kids (despite their own sadness). Well done.
These are among the stories of Christmas expectations which emerged from discussions at our MOPS Christmas party. We realised that as we spend energy in the lead up to Christmas doing our best to train our kids to take their focus off the gifts which they will be receiving and focus instead on Christ, we too have our hang ups which creep in front of the most important message of salvation at Christmas.
“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The baby in a manger was an unexpected gift.
Here’s a link to a wonderful little movie made by St Paul’s church in Auckland, New Zealand which highlights the unexpected nature of God’s gift to us at Christmas. We’d love you to take five minutes now to watch it and reflect on how much higher God’s plans are than our own. Merry Christmas!
MOPS Toowoomba Team