Advent proves God is sneaky.

File:Gerard van Honthorst 001.jpg
“Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

God is sneaky. I’m not talking about a little sneaky, but really sneaky. Christmas is a great example. The world was in darkness and sin. Despair and misery seemed to have the upper hand in the lives of people. They hoped for a savior, but nothing seemed to be happening. However, Darkness knew its time was short.

This wasn’t a secret. There were these people that would speak for God, called prophets, and they were telling everyone that God would one day come back and make everything right. So, the forces of evil did their best to keep that from happening. One of the ways they did this was to silence the prophets,  but every time they shut one up God would start talking to another. The message of hope was getting out.

This message was that a new kingdom was on the horizon. There would be a new and powerful king that would take his throne in this world and free the people from their oppressors.  The stories they heard caused their imaginations to soar and their hope blossomed. This king would be stronger than any king on this earth. Their king would bring prosperity back to his people. They were ready to watch their king kick some tail.

Well, the forces of darkness were ready. They had made all the preparations, set up all of their barriers, instituted all of their protocols, and fortified all of their battle positions. The world was filled with hopelessness and despair and they were going to keep it that way. Once they were ready, they waited.

In my mind, I sort of imagine their efforts like a border crossing. Everything coming into this world would be scrutinized and their threat level evaluated.  They were looking for anyone that could be a king. Kill those who fit the description and oppress everyone else.

Picture the scene as they consider these two kids. Mary is pregnant and not married. Joseph is supposed to marry this girl but he is not the father of the child. They are poor and disgraced. The guardians of darkness didn’t even consider them as any kind of threat. God enters our world unnoticed. See? Sneaky.

God did not come the way they expected. He did not come with an entourage or terrifying army. God came in the most unexpected of ways.

This Christmas season may have you on the brink of despair. Someone close to you may have died. You may have lost your job or cannot find work. You may have just gotten horrible news about your health.

We certainly have suffered as a nation with the tragic and horrifying deaths in Connecticut. Sadly, that is just the most recent sorrow of the year. It was not the first and it will likely not be the last.

It may seem dark and God may seem far away. Some may say that we have kicked God out as a nation. They may say that the darkness that surrounds us is our fault for ignoring God and that God will not come to a nation that does not want Him.

But God is sneaky. He will come to us in subtle and unexpected ways. He will come to us at a moment that we least expect him but most need him. The evil of this world may have seemingly extinguished all hope, but they cannot keep God from coming. God will not be kept out. God will find a way in and when God comes he brings light. And that light will obliterate the darkness.

Advent and the Christmas Season are here to remind us that no matter how bad things seem, no matter how dark the night, or how loudly evil roars, God is on the move. We cannot keep God out because God is sneaky…really sneaky.

May this season bring you peace in the midst of Chaos, hope in the midst of despair, and joy in the midst of sorrow. May this Christmas remind you that you are loved with an everlasting love by a God that will never give up on you.

Merry Christmas!

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