Monday, 22 December 2008

The Glory of the Unlikely

Perhaps the great glory of Christmas is that in the birth of His only Begotten, the Lord revealed to us that He is the God of the "unlikely"...

For how unlikely it is that the King of the universe should be born in a stable normally reserved for the animals. How unlikely that the nation which had so long awaited her Messiah, should completely miss the fulfilment of her dreams, and reject her only salvation. How unlikely that this Messiah should live the great majority of His life in obscurity without the pomp and circumstance befitting Royalty. And perhaps most of all, how unlikely that such a One should die in shame and degradation, apparently discarded upon the trash heap of history, just another well-intentioned Zealot.

This is the glory of Christmas, a glory that fills the present as well as the past. For how unlikely that the humiliated is now the Glorified, and the possessor of that Name at which one day all will bow. How unlikely that Satan, who apparently destroyed Him, was and is the unwitting servant of the God who "works all things after the counsel of His own will." How unlikely indeed that tragedy should eternally breed triumph in the purposes of that One in whom all wisdom resides. And perhaps most of all, how incredibly unlikely that God Himself should deign to fill the seemingly marred, broken and useless vessels that we appear to be, that He might live His perfect, complete and loving life in us. How unlikely and how unspeakably wonderful that in our weakness, His strength is made perfect and that He actually needs us to be as we are that the glory of His Person alone might be revealed by us.

He is the God of the unlikely, the God who requires stables in which to birth His beloved rather than the pristine palaces we might anticipate. So let us expect to find Him there, in the stables of our lives and worlds, the circumstances, situations and people where we least expect Him to be. Indeed, let us see that the glory of His presence is most often in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence, and let us rejoice that Christmas above all proclaims that we have found the King of the universe in the most unlikely place of all....our own lives if we have accepted Him as our Saviour.





Here we are carol singing to the neighbours before returning to one of our homes for a Christmas buffet, after which we had a visit from Santa. I received a DVD of "Analyse This" and Alan received an enormous mug apparently for a 'budding gardener' depicting Santa battling with the weeds. Prophetic? I think not!


I never realised, that the man who always manages to inadvertedly appear in so many of my photos, is actually Father Christmas!


I do sincerely hope that all my blogging friends out there have a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

32 comments:

Willow said...

What is the most unlikely is that The God of the Universe chose to love me!

Merry Christmas to you and Alan!

Tea Time With Melody said...

I REALLY miss caroling. I grew up on it and it seems to have just died out here. What fun it is to open your door and hear beautiful music.

Sara said...

This is very beautifully written, Barbara. Yes, the unlikeliness of it all sometimes brings tears to my eyes from the sudden gratefulness that overwhelms me when I think of how great is his love for us.

I thought that Father Christmas looked familiar....!

a woman who is said...

So let us expect to find Him there, in the stables of our lives and worlds, the circumstances, situations and people where we least expect Him to be. Indeed, let us see that the glory of His presence is most often in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence, and let us rejoice that Christmas above all proclaims that we have found the King of the universe in the most unlikely place of all....our own lives if we have accepted Him as our Saviour.

I am so touched and moved...this is the truth of who our King is. I will carry this thought with me through the holidays, looking for the glory of the unlikely!

Linda said...

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Melanie said...

Merry Christmas Barbara.
We had a group of carollers come to our door and suddenly it felt like it really was close to Christmas. In the midst of all the preparations it is so easy to lose sight of what it's really about.

Lovely words.

debbie bailey said...

Merry Christmas from the other side of the pond! Thank you for those beautiful words about our beautiful Saviour.

Judy said...

A lovely post, Barbara...with much to think about. May you have a most blessed Christmas.

Wild Rose said...

Merry Christmas Barbara,

Marie x

Kate said...

Thank you for those lovely words.

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to you both.

Kate

Penless Thoughts said...

I just passed an award to you. Come & see.
Susan

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That is a wonderful essay, Barbara. Cindy sent me over, but I would've found my way later. I'm so glad that I read this at this moment. This will become a part of our Advent Observance tomorrow evening. Thank you for giving us so much to ponder.

A wonderful, blessed Christmas to both you and Alan and to your entire family.

Betty said...

How thankful I am that He loves me....

Every year we have a live poinsettia tree in the sanctuary...this is the 2008 tree and picture of us....

Blessings....Betty

Terri said...

Hi Barbara, I came over from Vee's blog and really enjoyed reading what you wrote there. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Christmas! Best wishes to you and yours for a lovely 2009 also. Terri in Canada xo

Angela said...

Tears filled my eyes as I read this beautiful devotion. As I read, the song from my playlist, Come Now Is The Time To Worship Him. Thank you for a wonderful way to start my Christmas Eve this morning. Blessings to you and your family this Holy Season...

zetor said...

Have a very Happy Christmas Barbara.

Sioux said...

Merry, merry Christmas, Barbara!!

Linds said...

Merry Christmas, Barbara! To you and Alan, and all your family!

lorenzothellama said...

Happy Christmas Barbara

Knitting Mania said...

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Barbara. This post is amazing....

Have a wonderful blessed day tomorrow!

Barbara Jacksier said...

I just wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, and a happy healthy New Year.

Elizabeth said...

So glad you had a good time carolling - a wonderful and joyful tradition! Peace, love and good health to you both in the coming year.
Happy Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know what a perfect blessing your site is to me; I love everything about it, especially your encouragement to follow our Jesus and revel in our Father's love. I'm so glad I accidentally found it!

Me Maw said...

Hope you and your family had a wonderful day today! Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Edward and I send wishes for a very Happy Christmas! Glad Tidings to You!

Paz said...

Merry Christmas!

Paz

Britt-Arnhild said...

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones Barbara. Thank you for your friendship.

Aubrey said...

Thank you--I hope you had a good Christmas! Ours was nice and relaxed this year--other than it ending in a huge snowstorm. Good thing we didn't do any hard travelling!

Vanessa Cole said...

Merry Christmas!

A beautiful post.

Vanessa

Charm and Grace said...

Barbara, I pray your Christmas was blessed in every way. It has been such a joy to connect with you through blogging. Yes, it is ulikely that He would come in the way He did... certainly not what His people were expecting. And isn't it the same way today... He comes to us in the most unlikely of places... even the internet! How wonderful to know that sisters in the Lord who can't meet in person will one day meet face to face... because He chose to come to this world in the most unlikely of ways.

Christmas blessings to you and Alan,
Christi

Mmm said...

"God of the "unlikely"."
--How very well put. Love that!! Wishing you, Barbara, the very best Christmas. Enjoy that it last longer there.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Merry Christmas~ Hope you had lovely days celebrating our Savoir.
xo Lidy