“He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.”(Lk 2:5)
Have you ever received a strange gift? One that was a shocker—totally unexpected!
It happened to me one year while teaching fifth and sixth graders. Children love to give a gift to their teacher at Christmas; a hankie, a tie, an ornament, or pen and pencil set. But on this occasion I received a shoe box wrapped in (newspaper comics). It felt rather heavy and rattled when I shook it. My curiosity was rising by the minute. It was given to me by a student from a very poor family. As I opened the box, I steeled myself for the unexpected. Inside was a small bundle of black coal. Without hesitation, I smiled and said, “This is the most practical gift I’ve ever received.” Little Jimmy gave me the most valuable possession he could find in his home.
When God gave us His Christmas gift it took people by surprise and came in a totally unexpected manner.
Who would have expected a Holy Righteous God to choose a young virgin teenager to bear his long awaited Messiah? When the angel Gabriel came to Mary at Nazareth he said, “Greeting favored one! The LORD is with you.” (Luke 1:27) This greeting caught Mary by surprise and she was confused and disturbed. I’m sure she wondered, “What kind of greeting is this and what does it mean?” Fortunately, Gabriel didn’t leave her in that state of mind, and said, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.”
Was Mary shocked at this unexpected announcement? Yes! Did she consider herself worthy? No! Did she wonder, “Why me?” Don’t we tend to utter the why God question when the unexpected happens? To think that God would entrust his most valuable possession to an inexperienced young teenager baffles the mind.
What will you do with the unexpected gift of Jesus Christ this Christmas? Will you keep his Messianic birth to yourself or share it with others?
Prayer: Dear Lord, praise your Holy name for giving us your Messianic gift.