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Are there any surprises under your Christmas tree this year? Children make wish lists from which parents dutifully purchase. Adults buy their own presents or receive gift cards so there is no risk of disappointment for the giver or recipient. Despite the boxes being wrapped, does everyone already know what they are getting? Is there anything left to wonder?

It is easy to forget each Christmas how surprising the gift of Jesus is. That first Christmas story is full of things no one was expecting: the presence of Angels, the speechless priest, the seeking pagan astrologers, the virgin giving birth. The greatest surprise is the greatest gift: God has become one of us in the person of Jesus. Does this still catch your breath? The impossibility of it all. I wonder at Mary’s faithful response when she discovers “the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Extraordinary.

Wonder on this incredible text from Paul as we celebrate Christmas. May it fill you with surprise:

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Col 1:15-20