Today, I am re-sharing a reflection I posted in Advent a few years ago. My mother died last week and I have found it hard to write, though many of the ideas I’ve been sitting with are about God’s surprising presence in unexpected places and experiences. These words from Advent a few years ago capture part of what has been in my heart and mind. I pray they speak to you in finals week, the challenges of Covid-19, and this unusual Advent and Christmas season. -ara
Where have you been surprised to find God?
Through Advent, this season of preparing for the coming of God into the world, we hear over and over about the surprising places where God shows up, and the surprising ways God is active and the surprising people chooses to use.
The stories of Advent are filled with surprises. God does not choose the route or the resources we would imagine. God uses ordinary, outlandish, powerless, or rejected people and places. The same is true in our lives, too. Though God is certainly evident in our moments of success and joy, God is sometimes most powerfully seen (and experienced) in times of sorrow, pain, and disaster.
As you make your way through these last days of the finals week, remember that God is often in the surprises that unsettle us, show us on a new direction, give us another perspective, or lift our sagging spirits.