This is the title of a new book of daily readings for Advent which someone brought to my attention. It has 24 short chapters - one for each day of Advent - and each one focuses on something very unexpected in the Christmas story. It is easy for us to gloss over these things because the story is so familiar to us. But take a moment to think about it.
God had a plan to intervene in man’s affairs in order to redeem him. Who would have thought that God Himself would actually become a man amongst us to do that? Who would have thought He would come as a helpless baby... have an unknown peasant girl be that baby’s mother... and have the first public announcement made to shepherds who were often despised people in the community and counted of no worth?
Take time to think through the other details of the Christmas story. So many of them are things we do not expect. If we had been planning how to outwork things, our approach would have been very, very different.
My thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We need to think about this in our everyday lives. His way of handling things may be very different from yours and mine. His thoughts about people might be very different from our thoughts. His ways are higher - they are better, they are ‘full of grace and truth’. The disciples of Jesus took a long time to learn that He really did know best and that they should always listen to what He said and not to their own ideas.
And we take a long time to learn this lesson too. We need to learn humility and look to Him for wisdom, for understanding. For His ways are the ways that lead to light, to peace and to joy in the human soul.
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