Some people think of God as a monster. Others think of God as the bully-in-the-sky. Others think of God as remote and abstract. These images come readily to us. We would not find it difficult to invent these gods. We are not amazed by them.
Like those who heard the shepherd's report, however, we stand amazed at the Christian Image. The image of a vulnerable God, a God-in-human-flesh, does not come readily to us. Who would have ever invented this God who comes as an infant? Who would have ever dared to think such a thing of God? But this is The Story, The Image. Christians have always insisted that the central drama of the history of this planet is centered on this God-who-comes-as-an-infant.
Things have not changed since the shepherds shared the amazing news. Being a Christian still involves staying open to the possibility that God will surprise us today. Just as God surprised the shepherds that day, so God may surprise us today.
Staying open to the possibility that God will surprise us with good things is not easy for people like us who find it easier to expect bad things. But God surprises us again and again with good things. The same God who came as a baby, wrapped up, lying in a feeding trough continues to surprise us.
What a surprise you are, God!
I expected monster, bully, distant abstraction.
What a surprise you are, Infant-God!
Help me this day to be open to your surprising grace.
Help me this day to be open to your surprising love.
Help me this day to hope in you.
Help me to allow my deep longings for you to awaken.
So that I will not miss your surprises.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery