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Christmas – a season of surprises

“The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus….’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1:30-31; 34)

This is Christmas – a season of surprises.

A virgin conceives and awaits the birth of her child.

God takes human form in the womb of a young woman of marriageable age. The eternal God – the omniscient and omnipotent one – leaves the courts of heaven and stoops to take up residence in this world.

The great Creator comes to the world and is denied the generous welcome that God eminently deserves. God’s own people refuse to grant a home here to the Maker of heaven and earth.

This is Christmas – a season of surprises.

Lowly shepherds, keeping watch over their flock by night, are mesmerized by heavenly music. They journey to Bethlehem, find the Savior lying in a manger and spread the good news about what they heard and saw.

Soon, magi from the East will come laden with significant gifts to pay homage to the baby who is sheltered in a stable in Bethlehem.

Soon, the one who is dressed in the robes of our humanity and who takes on our vulnerability will be forced into refugee status on account of the tyranny of a deluded ruler bent on ending the earthly life of anyone he regards as a potential rival for power.

This is indeed a season of surprises.

In Jesus we encounter the gracious God who becomes like us and offers us the opportunity to become what we are made to be – human beings who are transformed through the supreme, unmerited gift of salvation.

This Christmas, the Christ child comes again seeking a home in our hearts, offering us life that is abundant and full – eternal life. God surprises us again with the gift of God’s own self. If you acknowledge this gift, the Holy Spirit will lead you into life in all its fullness and so grant you blessedness in this world and in the world to come.

Abd Al Masih

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