A Surprise for YOU!
When we moved to our new home earlier this year, I delighted in the beauty around us. I even began to enjoy what used to be a boring chore. Now, when I hang my washed clothes out, my eyes feast on a picture-perfect view of distant hills and my spirit is renewed. An old style clothes hoist stands tall in our yard, doing yeoman service with our laundry—it spins around like a ship going full steam ahead, its sails billowing out. I’m so pleased that our clothes dry quickly (especially on a windy day), as they twirl around on their carefree merry-go-round.
One day, not long after we moved in, there was a knock on our front door. When I opened it, a new neighbour greeted me. She smiled and handed me a shirt belonging to my son. What? How? When? Our hoist had apparently flung items of clothing all the way from our yard to my neighbour’s. How embarrassing! She was very gracious but my ears turned red. And … believe it or not, a few weeks later, it happened again. There stood my kind neighbour at my front door again with yet another item of clothing. Oh no! Our disobedient washing was determined to gallivant around our neighbourhood so I had to do something. Fast!
My clever husband found the perfect solution. Following his advice, I pegged each clothes hanger to the hoist and was very relieved to find that his suggestion worked pretty well, (didn’t I tell you he’s clever?) because even on a windy day, although my clothes spun around like crazy, my neighbour did NOT turn up with more runaway clothing. One day recently however, I returned home after an outing to find our backyard strewn with clothing. Wild winds must had been galloping across our yard.
I was sure that a few of my washed clothes would have taken flight into my neighbour’s garden. And sure enough, a few days later, as we were relaxing in bed, reading on a Saturday afternoon, there was a knock on our door. I jumped out of bed and put on my slippers.
I grinned at my beloved. “That must be your shirt or my blouse!”
Shan acquiesced with a return grin and nod. But when I opened my front door, it was not that neighbour who stood there—it was a different one. In her little daughter’s hand was a wrapped package which she held out to me.
“Why, THANK YOU” I said with a smile. A Christmas gift! What a lovely surprise!
(And not my runaway laundry after all! Phew!)
A bit like the surprise God handed out to us when we deserved something different. At the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve began life on the earth, they tripped badly, and the perfect world God had created became stained with sin. Like intruders who'd taken possession of a house not their own, sin, death and strife took residence in our world. Nothing we could do could make it right. Was there a solution? The world waited. It groaned. It hoped. It prayed. The years passed. God called a man named Abraham to follow Him, to obey Him, promising Abraham that out of his seed would come redemption.
And then … and then … one day, many years later, in the little town of Bethlehem, there was a knock on a door. An Inn keeper opened it. He found outside a young man with his very pregnant fiancé. The Inn keeper sighed. The inn was full—too full. He was about to shut the door when he saw Mary, tired and big with child, looking at him with beautiful wistful eyes. How could he turn them away? He beckoned the couple and led them to a stable in his yard. And there that night, Love was born. Love came down at Christmas. Love invaded the earth and the world has never been the same since.
What a surprise! What an astounding event! We didn’t get what we deserved. After all, sin demands judgment, sin demands punishment. But instead, we got GRACE - the goodness of God, gifted to us in the form of a little baby, a baby who changed the course of history. A Man who walked in humility to a cross even though He had lived a perfect, sinless life. How could this be?
The Son of God become the Son of Man so that
the sons of men may become the sons of God.
Have you met this baby? And have you knelt at His crib? Have you made friends with the Man He grew up to be? Is He your Saviour and Lord?
“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
This Christmas may you be filled with holy awe and expectancy as you hear His knock on the door of your heart. And as you open it, may He surprise you with His love. And may you surrender to Him with all your heart, for Jesus truly is The Saviour of the World!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16