A is for About-Face
Click here to see an overview of the readings/reflections for the next nine nights.
For anyone who knows me, one of the first things you’ll probably figure out is that I am a bit of a control freak. I like knowing what the plan is, when things are supposed to happen, what I should expect. I don’t even necessarily have to be the one to make the plan, I just want to know what’s coming up. I mean, really. Is that too much to ask? (Okay, don’t answer that.)
This is probably one of the reasons why God seems to show up so often in my life as the “God of Surprises.” Because as much as old habits die hard, the God I have come to know is someone who challenges me, who is always keeping me on my toes, who constantly keeps me guessing (kind of like that Zumba teacher you can never quite keep up with). We may be content to be stuck in our ways, but God desires so much for us to keep moving forward, to keep growing.
In the Gospel reading for today, we see Mary’s reaction to the what is probably the biggest surprise in human history. Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, who is already looking ahead to married life and all it entails, is dealt news that turns her world upside down. She’s having a baby? And she’s supposed to tell her husband that it’s God’s Son? WHAT?!
And yet, after her initial fear and disbelief, she sings a song about the God who is all about surprises and turning the world upside down:
Scattering the proud in their conceit
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
Lifting up the lowly
Filling the hungry with good things
Sending the rich away empty
This is the God that we worship, the God who is not defined by our expectations of how God is “supposed” to act or behave. We know a limitless God who would go through any lengths to show his love for us, who knows no boundaries when it comes to making sure that we know that God is for us, wanting the best for us and cheering us on.
Tonight, may you have faith that things are not always as they seem. That not only do we know a God of Surprises, but a God of Hope as well. May you believe that whatever situation you are in, God remains with you and is ever faithful.