December 8, 2012

Suddenly, Joy

Filed under: Children and Families,Lectionary — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 12:15 pm

 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.

Malachi 3:1

How does one “prepare” for something that will come “suddenly”? That was the riddle I found myself pondering when I first read this week’s lectionary—preparedness and suddenness aren’t opposites, exactly, but they do seem contradictory.

But then, isn’t that exactly how babies arrive? Suddenly…even though we’ve prepared?

How many times have you quietly smiled as someone told you all about her scheduled delivery, a specific date and time that she and her doctor or midwife had agreed would be convenient for her baby to be born? And how often do those scheduled babies catch their families by surprise?

Isn’t that exactly how God breaks into our lives? Suddenly…

A birth… a death… a chance encounter… a word… a realization… or a still small voice… all are reminders that the Lord whom we seek (and whom we  at times would rather not seek) is there, ready to come in to the temples of our lives.

And so on this Second Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy, I ask you:

When has God, in fact, come into your life suddenly, even when you were most prepared?

How have you been surprised by joy?


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