Pastor’s Corner: Unexpected Christmas

December 20, 2017

It’s a funny thing about Christmas. We know what it’s supposed to look like. We know who’s supposed to be there. We know what everyone is supposed to do. It’s supposed to go “as planned.”

And if it doesn’t, we get worried, sad, or upset.

The shepherds on their hillside had less ambitious plans, to be sure, but they knew exactly how their night was going to go. They’d gather their flocks in from grazing as evening fell, and count them all before the light faded. They’d prepare their supper, probably as a group, while one or two made sure no sheep wandered off (or wolves wandered in). They’d agree on who went on watch when, and those who weren’t on guard would lie down, gazing up at the stars until their eyelids closed in sleep.

It wasn’t ambitious, but they knew how it was supposed to go.

That plan had no place in it for the appearance of a divine messenger, let alone for a crowd of angels singing or shouting their praise to God in the middle of the night. That plan had no place in it for a trip into town to see a newborn child, or to explain their presence to the weary and anxious parents. That plan had no place in it for their own praises to God, or for (most likely) re-gathering the sheep who had scattered during their sojourn in Bethlehem.

When the unexpected came, they had to change their plan. When the unexpected came, they had to do something new. When the unexpected came, they found themselves rejoicing.

This Christmas, and this New Year, I pray that God’s unexpected blessings break into your “supposed to” and “as planned.” I pray that God’s gifts of grace and love might shake the familiar and open up the possible. I pray that God’s marvelous surprises may summon your own songs of joy.

Mele Kalikimaka! Merry Christmas! And a Blessed New Year!

With aloha,

Pastor Eric


Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on December 20, 2017

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply

close window

Service Times & Directions

Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283