Luke 1: 39-45

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

We go through life generally knowing what will happen tomorrow, and next week, and in the coming months. When abruptly the unexpected happens, we are shaken to our depths. What is it like when God abruptly interrupts our world? Our response might be like Zechariah as we are left speechless or like Mary who responds, “Let it be according to your will.”  Advent is the time to prepare our hearts to hear and receive the gift of God’s intimate relationship with each of us. As Thomas Merton states, “It is not we who choose to awaken ourselves, but God who chooses to awaken us… Our discovery of God is in a way, God’s discovery of us. We cannot go to heaven to find Him…. He comes down from heaven and finds us.”

Thomas Merton’s words spoke to me. Yes!  Yes! Yes! God comes down from heaven to find me every day that I live in the moment and focus on the blessings all around me. Jesus invites me, in this life, right now, to experience the life of heaven. He insists over and over that God’s peace, joy and love are currently available to us, exactly as we are. How do I experience God coming down from heaven? Surely, I have to be focused on Him or I can easily miss the unexpected.

I was out walking earlier this morning than I usually have in the past. The sunrise was magnificent. I was not expecting anything but early morning light. When I looked up, the sky was a panorama of color. All I could do was bask in the beauty and say, “Thank you God. This is heaven on earth, right here. I am blessed.”

— Audrey Alderson

Prayer: Dear God, Help me to always look for the unexpected serendipities in every day experiences. Help me to see Your hand guiding me in all things. And then, give me an attitude of gratitude for all these blessings. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

How have you experienced the unexpected today?  Share those experiences with someone else, and let them know how God has touched your life, today.


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