No Surprises Here!

No Surprises Here!

It’s Wednesday morning and here I sit in front of my computer staring at the blank page staring back at me. So be it.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and here I sit in front of my computer staring at the almost blank page staring back at me. Between these two moments I have visited by phone with several members, checking on their health situations, have hosted the monthly brown-bag lunch for Disciples ministers in the Metro area and have received boxes of stuff from the UPS man as well as the USPS man. I imagine that the boxes have gifts for people in my or Diane’s families that I ordered online earlier this week. There is some level of excitement about opening them when I get home that I cannot explain. There will be no surprises in them, for I know what I ordered, but still, there is this sense of anticipation to actually see and touch the objects which will hopefully bring smiles to the faces of our loved ones.

Perhaps Christmas is that way as well. We know the story, how it begins, how it ends and all the action between. There will be no surprises on Christmas Day. Jesus will indeed be born into the world, yet one more time. Angels will announce his arrival with a cacophony of sound like the world has rarely witnessed. Shepherds will cower in fear at their sight, but will soon find the courage to travel to the little town of Bethlehem to seek out the child born in a stable and wrapped in swaddling cloth. They will find him there in the stable because the nearby inn had had no room at dusk. In a manger meant to feed the animals, they will see him and they will be awestruck once more. There will be no surprises, yet there will still be an unexplainable sense of anticipation even in us more mature folks.

We know this story and we know what will happen later when Jesus has become an adult. Suspicions, intrigue and conspiracy will bring him to a cross where he will be executed. Early on the first day of the week, his tomb will be found empty. No surprises here, either. We expect to hear the words of resurrection, read out on Easter morn. And yet there continues to be a certain sense of excitement about the Goods News that Jesus Christ is no longer earth-bound.

Jesus, the Christ, is born! Jesus, the Christ, is risen! Jesus, the Christ, is Lord of all!