By now Christmas may have already faded from our conversations and has been relegated to the archives of our minds. However, its message of the Incarnation and its meanings for our lives continue to accompany us every day of the year. The Incarnation reminds us that the greatest and most valuable things in life can be found in the most unlikely places. Who would think that the immortal, invisible God could be found garbed in human flesh? Who would look for the Almighty Creator in the form of a helpless babe? Yet this is God’s surprise to the world that we celebrate in the Incarnation at Christmas time.
God is a God of surprises. He loves to surprise us. Perhaps that is why we fail so often to experience the blessedness of God’s presence. Like Elijah, we expect God in the powerful forces of the earthquake, wind or fire. Then God surprises us by speaking in the still small voice (1 Kings 18:11-13). God continues to surprise us by coming in the most unexpected ways and through the most ordinary things. God comes to us in the ordinary but sacred event of gathering around his word in worship. God offers us the gift of His Real Presence in the ordinary things such as bread and wine in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. We fail too to see God in the faces of our suffering, hungry, despairing, joyful, hopeful and successful neighbours. Yet in all of these God comes, inviting us to care for and celebrate with our neighbours. Truly the greatest gems of life come enclosed in the most ordinary wrappings.
I invite us to let this message of the Incarnation be our constant companion now and always. May we learn to see God in the ordinary things in which he reveals Himself. Let God surprise us. Let us find God in the ordinary things in life: bread and wine in the sacrament; written and spoken word in worship; in your neighbours and the creation. This way we will look at the trees, flowers, animals, birds, people, self and life generally with different eyes. We may just be surprised by the mystery and majesty in these ordinary things. For paradoxically God at one and the same time, hides and reveals Himself in these.
Happy and Blessed New Year,