“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.’”
You will find Him in a feeding trough.
You, on whom His favor rests.
You will find Him where you least expect Him.
Do you hear His whisper this morning? “You will find me where you least expect me.”
This, the very most unexpected place, this is where we find Him. Even more, this is where He finds us.
In the long dark nights, in the lowering of my friends’ bodies into the dark earth, in the resettling of their children into foster-families, in the impossibly hard parenting and the shepherding of my children through searing loss, I have known Jesus. In the endless blending and grinding of food for a feeding tube, and the endless chopping of carrots for soup, and the long lists of spelling words and multiplication facts, and the unexpected joy of just being, we have known Jesus. In the blazing hot sun, in the forever-caked-on-my-heels red mud, over the thousands of potholes, I have known impossible, unexpected Grace.
And this is my prayer for you this Christmas. That in the very most unlikely places, in the hard and the hurt and the dark, you would know the unexpected hope that can only come from our Savior. Impossible grace abounds, even where we least expect it.
Can you hear it? His message to the shepherds is His message to us today. “You will find a baby lying in a manger. You will find my love where you least expect it. You will find me in the mud, in the muck, in the dirt. And in the mess of your sin and the hurt of this life, I will find you.”
Merry Christmas. May impossible, unexpected grace be yours through Christ our Savior.