The last couple of days have felt more like spring than winter, and decidedly not like Christmas. Although we don’t usually get to enjoy a white Christmas in my neck of the woods, typically it’s at least cold enough to wear sweaters and not feel like you’re going to sweat to death. This year, however, most of us experienced record highs on Christmas Day (we reached the low 80s here, and were thankfully spared the serious storms and tornadoes that other parts of our state and country experienced).
In my book, this balmy weather is not what Christmas is supposed to feel like, but perhaps that’s fitting considering how out of sorts the arrival of Jesus must have seemed to those who had been eagerly awaiting His appearance. Israel was anticipating a Messiah who would save them from the oppressive Roman government, who would set up His own kingdom here on Earth from which to reign. They expected a royal figure, a commanding military leader–certainly not a tiny baby, born in a stable of all places.
Although this year’s Christmas weather is not what I would have chosen, it’s reminded me that God loves to do the unexpected. I wonder just how different our Christmas celebrations would be if Jesus had shown up as a king rather than a baby? Would we still be filled with wonder and awe? Would we still get a sense that He could relate to us? Maybe God has more to teach us in the unexpected than the expected.