....is the theme of our Advent service series this year. I know, the name of the song is, "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus". It's all about our yearning for the Messiah, a yearning that comes from the promises we hear in the prophets, promises for a new day, when all will be put right. "Come thou long-expected Jesus".
Yes, we long for the Messiah, but when he shows up, he's not what we expected.
I opened the Sunday bulletin one advent morning to find this mis-print in the bulletin. Was it the parish secretary's slip-up, I wondered. Or was it a subconsciously theological moment? I'll never know.
Zechariah and Elizabeth and Mary and Joseph: all were yearning and hoping and long-expectant. But they were still surprised.
come, thou unexpected Jesus.
Even now we need your life.
An old woman needs to laugh
because she is going to have a baby.
A widow needs to receive her son
We need to find a mysterious coin
in those empty pockets
and a gift we never expected
under our tree.
Come thou unexpected Jesus.
Be born in a barn.
Live among the poor.
Open our hearts.
Create out of nothing.
Raise the dead.
We dare you.