Surprised by grace

I had this presented to me by our children yesterday – a gift from the WOW Worship crew at our church. (WOW is worship time designed for children to experience and know God in a way that makes sense to them).

It’s a “Certificate of Birth” for Jesus nicely framed with an accompanying stand. They surprised me with the gift at children’s time. Completely unexpected, but really appreciated. I like the way someone put this together as a creative way to remind us who Jesus is and the import of his being born.

And I really liked being surprised with the gift. It is something I didn’t even know I wanted until it was given to me. And isn’t that just so appropriate at Christmas – to get a gift you never even imagined you could have. That’s the gift God gives to us in Jesus – the gift of grace that takes away our sin and puts new life within us.

If we’re honest about this gift God gives to us at Christmas, we’ll have to admit it was probably something we never knew we always wanted. But that’s Christmas, full of surprises.

Mary was told she would become pregnant by the power of God – surprise. Joseph was told he should take Mary as his wife even though she was carrying a child who was not his – surprise! The Shepherds in the field heard from angels, the Magi saw a new star – surprise, surprise, surprise.

We shop until we drop, but then we find more joy in giving toys to children living in poverty – surprise. We plan a big family meal, but are more overcome with peace when we take time to feed those who have so little to eat — surprise. We come to church because we like the Christmas songs, only to find a Spirit so powerful we are filled to overflowing by a prayer or a hug or a baby softly crying in the row behind us – surprise, surprise, surprise.

May we all have moments throughout this season where we are surprised by grace. May we be filled once more with new life. May Christ be surprisingly born in us once again.

Holy high-five to you,


3 responses to “Surprised by grace

  1. Amen. What a beautiful way to explain the spirit of Christmas. Thank you Mike.

  2. Great points. I find the same thing – I’m more concerned what I’m getting my daughter’s friends who have nothing in the world than what I am getting my daughter, who can afford whatever she wants.


  3. Shirley & Lonnie Calhoun

    What a beautiful gift. I know you must treasure that. What a wonderful loving idea. I know we have felt so blessed these past months by the love and caring Lonnie and our family has received from so many. God is so wonderful to us all. How could anyone NOT recognize and worship him. Thanks for all you do, Mike. Your every effort is appreciated and you are loved for them all. Shirley C.

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