Friday, December 23, 2016

Love That No One Expected

I have skimped a bit on this last week of Advent, but I wanted to share a bit about what the theme of Love looks like, as we quickly approach Christmas.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not the only one recognizing that Advent seems different this year. So many writers are drawing upon the themes of Advent to speak about the hard topics that plague our modern world. Advent seems all the more relevant and needed at this time in human history. Yet every era, since the dawn of time, as been in desperate need of salvation and redemption.

 Below is a segment from Jon Bloom (staff writer at Desiring God). The article is entitled, “Come, Thou Unexpected Jesus”:

“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.

So look for him in the unexpected place. And it may be in the most desperate place, yours or another’s. But know this: he will meet you in the place that will, if you trust him, cause his good news to eventually bring you the greatest joy (Luke 2:10) — the place you are most likely to really adore him.”

Seven years ago, when I began this blog, I named it “Lineage of Expectation” because I was inspired by the vast messianic expectation woven through the Old Testament. But it is important to make the distinction between expectation and expectations. We cannot project our personal or, even traditional, expectations on Jesus’ birth. But we can remember the earnest and, sometimes misled, expectation with which God’s people waited for the Messiah. We celebrate Advent to remember that we are just like them. We are in desperate need of a Savior. But the added blessing is that we know how the story will end. May that truth be in our hearts this Christmas.



  1. Amen, and thank you!

  2. I have penned Hope, Joy, Love , Peace in nearly all my notes to my Christmas letter this year, almost instinctively. And the One came and comes is He Who gives such. We are so needy for such. May they abound in us.


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