Advent Calendar Door #7 – Jesus is…unpredictable

Posted: December 7, 2015 by leighannegreenwood in Uncategorized

Jesus – didn’t see that one coming

‘Unpredictable’ isn’t normally the sort of word you hear about Jesus at this time of year when singing carols, and not just because it’s hard to make it rhyme and fit into a lyric!

Images and memories of celebrating His birth are very predictable to me – I’ve grown up with the words of ‘Little Donkey’ ‘Away in a manger’ and ‘O come all ye faithful’ and the like swirling around my head. It’s left a very safe, warm, fuzzy feeling when I hear their opening chords, or see the same old Christmas decorations in the box each December. The same things used to happen each year too as a child – putting out Christmas sweets on Christmas Eve, leaving sherry out for Santa, church on Christmas morning, eating dinner with family (including that one compulsory sprout each – yuk!). Even though those things don’t happen in exactly the same way now, it hasn’t dampened my happy memories of childhood Christmases.

That’s all good, of course, and happy childhood memories are a blessing. But it doesn’t square up with Jesus being unpredictable. Except that very few people would have guessed, back 2000-odd years ago, that God would send the Messiah as a little baby, pooping and crying and crawling around, eating bits of dirt off the floor like any other baby. That’s not very likely is it – the Messiah who was to kick the Roman butt had to be a big, strong, warrior leader. The Messiah who was to usher in God’s Kingdom had to be someone who would appeal to the Jewish people’s sense of their literature and history and deep faith, not a guy who would potter about with a rag-tag bunch of others in the hills and towns, healing people and talking in parables.

And no one would have expected him to be betrayed by his mate, and crucified before he had time to raise an army, and really really no one expected him to defeat death by being resurrected, despite all the hints from the Jewish chroniclers and prophets and Jesus Himself. Perhaps that’s it – hindsight is a wonderful thing, it’s easy to see how things were meant to be after the events. To make the connections between what was said and done and what was predicted. That’s how it often works in our own lives too – we can see what God was doing after He’s done it, but in the middle of all the pain or busyness or confusion, it’s not so easy. We just have to hang on and wait and trust. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes they knew what God was doing, or about to do, in my life.

When you read about Jesus and what He said and did, so much is quite perplexing and unpredictable. Changing water into wine, calming storms, talking to random women at wells, healing people who have just made a great big hole in his roof. He must have been quite frustrating sometimes to be around, always talking in riddles and parables and telling stories – but interesting too.

The more I think about it, the less there is that’s predictable about Jesus, which is one thing I think that appealed to people then and appeals now – it certainly makes life more interesting when you follow Him. And the more closely you follow Him, the more uncertain and unpredictable life can be, but that makes it all the better, richer, deeper. Now I see that advent should be about celebrating the unpredictable coming into our lives. I now actually like eating sprouts too – didn’t see that one coming either.

Today’s reflection comes from Emma K.

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