The world was waiting for a Messiah, the savior that was prophesied. Few were looking for a child in a manger. How often do we wait for something not even really understanding what we are waiting for. We wait for those Christmas presents under the tree not even knowing what is really inside them. Or we wait for the wrong thing not recognizing the true gift.
I am reminded of many years ago. I was sick, not doing well and scheduled to start inpatient treatment in just a couple of days. I went to church Christmas event with plans to have diner with an elderly man. He was older than my own father and homeless. Yet we had sat together at church for months, exchanging greetings, conversations and the occasional gift. In some ways I knew him better than many people within my family unit. In other ways he was a stranger. An awkward homeless man. But I was reminded that he was my brother in Christ and like me he had no one to celebrate the holiday. Moreover he had no food to eat.
So we had Christmas diner together at a restaurant. I paid for the meal and he provided me a loving, friendly, word of encouragement as I went home to pack for a anticipated long hospital stay. I believe this was the last I ever saw of the man whom I had sat with at church for many months. There were reasons for how he ended in the situation he was in. But Jesus had transformed his life and he was dedicated to ministering to the homeless in Galveston. He was an absolute delight. Him sharing a meal with me was Christmas enough.
The Lord provide me a usual Christmas gift and it came in a package that I had not expected. Plus it shocked the majority of the church congregation and seemed to make the pastor a bit uncomfortable. God does not wish us to be irresponsible and do things that are risky but sometime obedience looks different than we expect.