Expect the Unexpected


The Annunciation




Matthew 1:18-24

Who likes surprises? I thought there would be a few of you who would say yes to that one! Now, you should be careful when you say that you like surprises. Being surprised by something doesn’t always mean it’s something good or fun. We can be surprised by all kinds of things – the TV show ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ has lots of examples of people being surprised and they’re not necessarily always happy about it. Some people scream, some people laugh and some people even cry.

A surprise is called a ‘surprise’ because we didn’t know about it or expect it to happen. It’s ‘unexpected’.

In today’s Bible story we learn that Joseph were very surprised when he learned that Mary was having a baby. It was something that was definitely very much ‘unexpected’.

Of course, we now know that Mary’s baby wasn’t just any baby either. An angel came to Joseph in his dreams and told him that it was going to be a very special baby and that they should name the baby ‘Jesus’.

Nobody had a camera back then to film his reaction and put it on ‘youtube’ or America’s Funniest Home Videos. But we know from the Bible that Joseph didn’t do anything crazy or funny. He decided that he would do exactly what the angel said he should. Which is probably not what most of us would do? His reaction was very much unexpected. Now, you would expect that if two people were going to be the parents of a King they would be very special people. But there was nothing special about Mary or Joseph. They were just two very ordinary people. One came from an ordinary small town and one from an ordinary, very small village. You see, in God’s kingdom, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from. Any one of us – rich or poor, adult or child – any one of us can do great things with God’s help.

The next time you meet someone new – expect to be surprised. Expect the unexpected. Maybe God has something special in mind for them or even for you because we’re all children of God.

Let us pray:

Dear Lord, please help us to let others surprise us with who they are. Help us to remember that everyone we meet is one of your children and is capable of great things. In your name we pray. Amen.