Surprise! (Luke 1:8-23)

Sometimes surprises are good. And sometimes they are not so good. When your boss tells you you’re getting a raise—good surprise. When your professor announces you’re having a pop quiz– not so good.
The key of understanding behind a surprise is it is nothing more than being caught unprepared. When reading the Bible you sure get the impression that God loves surprises. Isn’t every miracle a surprise? When we read the Bible we also come to know God loves preparation. In scripture we see how both are woven into the Christmas story.
In Luke 1:8-23, we see Zechariah going about his priestly duties when God chose to surprise him. Zechariah met and angel who had an important announcement (surprise): Zechariah and Elizabeth would be parents to a special child in their old age. Not just any child, but John the Baptist.
What is interesting about this surprise is it is a prophecy about their son’s special ministry— to get people prepared for messiah’s coming. Did you get that, surprise you’re having a son whose job is to prepare people so they won’t be surprised when God comes to them. There is a powerful truth for us in this story.
In our current society we make Christmas all about surprises, and we even get prepared to be surprised with gifts (usually temporal meaningless gifts). How ever we don’t prepare our hearts to meet Jesus the Messiah and in turn we forfeit all the wonderful gifts/ surprises God can bring to our existence bot here and eternally! We sure are good at missing the point.
God knew that preparation was important for 1st century people and it should come as no surprise it is still just as important for people today! Get prepared and help others get prepared to meet Jesus this Christmas– who knows what surprises might lie ahead!
In His Service,
Eric Barnes