I GO ON 24-hour shift today, on this cloudy Christmas Eve, while the rest of the world celebrates with friends and families. It doesn't bother me. While riding the taxi this morning, surprised that traffic was going smoothly (Quezon City to Manila in less than 20 minutes!), I thanked God for Christmas: for coming to earth to become man to save me—all of us, sinners—from our sins.
John Bloom, one of my favorite bloggers, writes:
This Christmas, do not be surprised if you find yourself worshiping Jesus where you did not expect to find him.
He goes on to write that Jesus has always broken expectations. He ponders on the meaning of the celebration:
Jesus came into the world at a desperate time in a desperate way. It wasn’t the way people expected him to come. It wasn’t for the reasons they expected him to come. He did not come to meet their expectations but to love them in the ways they most desperately needed.
For Christ, Christmas is not about tradition but salvation; it’s not about expectations but sanctification. Christmas is about love — earthy, gritty, sacrificial, even bloody love. When Jesus came, he did not come “to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). This was a love that no one expected — a love that exceeds all our expectations.
And this is the way he comes to you this Christmas: to love you in the ways you most need. That may, in fact, be why some of your expectations are not met: they aren’t what you really need.