Good morning all! Just exactly one week until Christmas…can you believe it? That also means only 6 more days of blog…..
After they had set a day to meet with him [Paul], they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets.Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe. So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, ‘Go to this people and say, You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them.’ Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”
He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Today I woke up to pictures like this one all over facebook (I am sure Jessica and Susan don’t mind spotting their cutie boys on the blog). I also saw pictures from Lebanon with more snow and read that Sweet home schools were closed today and thought, “surely, there isn’t any snow right now outside of my window….can’t be.” I don’t know why I thought this but sure enough when I looked out the window I saw a bit of white.
What a surprise! I didn’t realize we were going to have snow! It happens so rarely around here to see that white cold stuff. Now, it’s not very much snow and I doubt we will have much more but it does make me think differently about the season. This morning has opened another element of the Advent story to me…the element of surprise.
Our story has become so familiar to us that I think we sometimes forget how surprising it all is! I mean, this journey that we are on, is a shocking and super surprising one. The audience at the time would have just been flabbergasted! This was one of the original improv everywheres except it wasn’t really improv…this was crazy life! Speaking of Improv Everywhere…this is a good one for the season…
There are surprises all around us but we have to be open to receiving them as well. We also must be willing to integrate those surprises into our story. The snow this morning will alter our lives today. It might change how we spend the day, we might end up spending more time building snowmen then working or we might have to navigate a bit differently. My mind goes to making sure the church is open, warm, and with coffee so people can enjoy rather than suffer in the cold. God surprises us with mystery, with news, with a whole different story then we thought we were in in the first place. In our scripture above, it is shocking that Paul is preaching and offering salvation to the Gentiles. For the time, it would have been utterly ridiculous and would have caused me to giggle (that awkward surprise giggle) and yet here he is in Acts preaching and showing love. He was open to the surprise and followed the storyline.