(This was scribbled in the back of my notebook while I was restless during church on Sunday. That will explain most of the discordant thoughts.)
It is a few days after Christmas when this is traditionally celebrated (at least by most Protestants) but I can appeal to the twelve days of Christmas tradition and say my notes are still timely.
It was long ago that the coming of the redeemer was announced. Some will tell you that God declared it in the garden shortly before evicting the first man and woman from it. He said there would be a descendant of Eve who would crush the serpent’s head. Ever since that day, the darkest in the history of mankind, the adversary had been at work trying to thwart God’s plans. He persuaded man to sin and polluted the human race (possibly physically as well as spiritually), and was inconvenienced by the Flood. He was soon back to work, first with the people at Babel before singling out one man’s descendants to harass for centuries to come, as he learned that from this family would come the one who could stop him. It was not for hundreds of years though that it finally happened.
And when it did, would it not have caught many by surprise? God humbled himself and took on the human flesh and entered his creation. He came into his own, but his own did not recognize him or receive him. They were looking for someone else, someone more impressive who could lead an army and bring deliverance. He did bring deliverance, but again, it was not the type they expected.
The next surprise was in how the deliverance was carried out. The devil figured out who the Messiah was (this was not kept secret by any means) and tried to make him fall, and of course he did not succeed. He then decided to kill him.
And he was playing right into God’s hands, because he’d planned this from the beginning. That set the stage for the next shock, when the Messiah rose from the dead.
God has not agreed to carry out his plans in the way we expect. How might he do it in the future?