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A Great Surprise

Dec 23 2017

I sometimes imagine what it would have been like that very first ‘Christmas Day’. On a profoundly holy evening, Mary and Joseph settled themselves after a long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Less than a year before, they were just an ordinary young couple betrothed to one another. Until one day, when everything changed. God sent an Angel to notify Mary of her future and God’s great plan: that she would supernaturally conceive and give birth to a son. She stood before the Angel, Gabriel, as he heralded what had been divinely prophesied centuries before… LUKE 1:29-33 (MSG) says this:

“Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever, no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Mary responded to the Angel with great courage and trust by saying, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Fast forward nine months to the moment Mary and Joseph beheld in flesh the promise God had spoken to them just months before. Carefully concealed from public view while attentively in the spotlight of heaven, Jesus – Son of God, Son of Man and King – was born, and with Him, good news of great joy and peace for all.

Every year, we celebrate the birth of Jesus because His arrival signified the emergence of a new era for all humanity. One in which divinity was once again amongst men, the Creator once more amongst His creation. The Son of God entered the human experience so that we may know the great love of the Father, and the great length He will go to reconcile us back to Him.

The supernatural birth of Jesus is foundational to our faith because it gives us immense purpose. Christmas is the best time to remind you that God is able to supernaturally conceive greatness within you, and birth greatness from you just as He did in the lives of Mary and Joseph. Whether you find yourself content and satisfied, or longing and waiting for breakthrough – the arrival of Jesus is an explicit expression of God’s desire to use those of us who are seemingly ordinary to accomplish something truly extraordinary. God never grows tired of surprising the world. In fact, God welcomes you to approach Him with great trust and faith so that you may be a carrier of His promise; and in partnership with Him, astound the world.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. Hebrews 11:1-2 (MSG)

There is something spectacular revealed when God surprises the world – He is glorified and even the darkest of hours can be made light. He has no preference to whom He will use to fulfill His promise; prodigals and refugees, the outcast and overlooked, the broken and the whole. My prayer for you this Christmas is that you would take courage and believe God to supernaturally birth what may seem impossible in your life – whether it be family reconciliation, a new business venture, or a long-buried dream – I pray your heart is encouraged and uplifted in the reality that God with us, Emmanuel, has great and surprising plans for you and nothing is impossible with Him. May you find assurance and great peace within our Saviour, who walks with you through every season and who draws you onward into a glorious future.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

Love,
Brian