Maybe all of us have been surprised by a gift at Christmas. There have been things that we got that we didn't want. There were pieces of clothing that didn't fit. There were outlandish shirts that we secretly swore to give to Goodwill the day after Christmas. We didn't know what some of the things were. We didn't know what to do with them when we found out.
That doesn't seem to be the same picture we see in television ads. The husband gives his wife an expensive piece of jewelry. The wife has a new car delivered overnight, ready for Christmas morning. They jump up and down with excitement. Then, they make the payments for the next six years. These are the gifts that just keep on taking.
Yet, sometimes you will get a gift that you did not expect. It will not cost you. You will not have to work for it for years to come. You will be excited and grateful. Will you ever consider the cost to the one who gave it to you? This person doesn't expect you to, but will you?
The greatest gift I ever received didn't come at Christmas but it came because of Christmas. I didn't expect to receive it. I thought it would be something else. I thought it would cost me a whole lot later. I was completely surprised. I receive this gift every day.
Yes, it is life but not the kind that has respiration with a heart beating an neurons firing. It is what makes this life a life worth living. Christmas came so that God could give the world that He loves His Son. He gives Him to us every day. We receive life like no other. It is a surprise gift. We receive love like no other. It is a surprise gift. We receive purpose, peace and fulfillment. These, too, are surprise gifts.
I thought that church was the most boring place with the deadest people around. I thought of it as a place which people punished themselves by attending the services. I received the Christmas Surprise of Jesus and that all changed.
The Christmas Surprise was a surprise from the very beginning. He is still one today.
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.