Did you ever think about that before? How THRILLING hope is. Really, think about what hope looks like and feels like. Anticipation of a child for Christmas morning? Hope of "the call" as an adoptive parent? Hope of "It's a Girl!" or "It's a Boy!" for a pregnant mother? Hope for peace! Hope for change. Hope for healing. The thrill of something greatly anticipated is, well, thrilling!
What thrills me this week? The fact that God chose to come to us via a poor, unwed, teenage mother. The fact that the example He gave us of what a holy family looks like included adoption, poverty, submission to God and government, and above all, trust and obedience. I love that Mary and Joseph were both troubled by the thought of this pregnancy, but that in the end, they did as God asked and they left the details of how it would all work out up to Him. They said "Yes", not "Let me think about it." I love that they didn't try to over-control it or "spin" it. And I love that Jesus came at a pretty inconvenient time too. They were required by their government to be present for something, but life goes on, babies are born, and the world keeps turning, even at the most inconvenient of times.
And yet, it's still thrilling. When a baby comes into your life through birth or adoption (as it did for Mary and for Joseph), the inconveniences, practicalities and doubts all have a way of getting out of the way and making room for the thrill of that new life. You don't worry too much about the college savings on the day of the birth!
I also find it thrilling that God ran out and told the lowest citizens he could find FIRST. When you get THRILLING news, who do you call first? After you dance around in your kitchen laughing and screaming, do you call your mother, your husband, your best friend? God called the shepherds... dirty, smelly, uneducated guys who live outside. Imagine, in God's THRILLING moment that He appeared to the lowly. In today's world, if Jesus were being born tomorrow night instead of 2008 years ago, who would God have appeared to? Would He have shown up under the Woodland Street Bridge in Nashville to the little colony of homeless men who live there? Would He have been in the orphanage with the unknown and unwanted around the world? Where would people be most THRILLED to hear this kind of good news? Your home? Mine?
If you have never REALLY listened to the words of Oh Holy Night, please stop for a moment, scroll down to the playlist and start over to hear Martina McBride belt it out. If you can hear her beg you to "fall on your knees" without actually wanting to, then let me know what moves you. Do you think that song is more applicable today then when it was first played on the radio on 1906? Is our world more weary today than it was then? I don't know, but I am THRILLED that our weary world has a reason to pause and rejoice this week... in the midst of economic crisis, in the midst of unknown job markets, housing markets, a war, and a presidential transition, we can know that none of this is beyond God's reach. He has a plan and all He requires of us is a "yes" to Him.
"He has shown might with His arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty."