About The Contemplative Activist

Hi. We're Marty & Sandy Boller. Now that we're sixty-something years old, we have way too much history to put in this little box. So let’s just say we are recovering 3-B pastors on our way to becoming a contemplative activists. Join us!

December 4th – Advent Day Nine.

LUKE’S CHRISTMAS GOSPEL OF JESUS: A 30-Day Christmas-Time Devotional.

A Surprise Party from God.

Luke 1: 30-31 (MsgB) 

[30] But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: [31] You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

Most of us enjoy surprise parties, don’t we?

Especially when the party is all about us!

Whether we want to admit it or not, it’s kinda fun to get all the special attention and encouragement that comes from these types of parties.

On the other hand, the word ‘surprise’ can have different connotations, can’t it?

I remember back in 1986, when Sandy told me about our new “surprise” that was coming in 9 months. At that point in our lives, we already had three great kids and thought we were done with the ‘having a baby’ gig. I was between jobs at that time. (That’s just my way of saying; I’d just been fired from a job!) And to be honest, this ‘surprise’ didn’t seem all that joyful to me!

If it had been left up to me, I would have passed on this baby-surprise, but thank God, I’m not always in control. At that point in our lives, I could see no wisdom in having a baby when we were in such uncertainty about our job future. But apparently, God seemed to know better. He usually does!

Now, nearly 35 years later, Sandy and I can’t even imagine, and not even want to, what life might have been like without that new little ‘surprise.’

Likewise, Mary must have had her moments when her new ‘surprise’ didn’t seem all that joyful. Yet in the long run, aren’t you glad, as we know she was, that she went forward with God’s little surprise party?

The whole world has changed because of one young woman’s willingness to receive this little ‘God-surprise’. World history is significantly different because one person decided to do the right thing and humbly walk the road God had laid out for her.

I’m wondering how different this world could be today, if more of us would be willing to walk the road God has laid out for us? Follow the ‘God-surprise’ awaiting us? Allow Jesus to lead us in the ways He chooses, versus us insisting that we go our own way?

Who knows? We just might see a turn-around in our society that no one ever predicted? Or, at the very least, we might just see a big turn-around in us!

My prayer: Lord, I want to be open to Your ‘surprise parties,’ even when that surprise just might mean a big change in the direction of my life. Empower me, Holy Spirit, to carry the surprise gift You bestow upon my life, knowing that, like Mary, I may not fully understand or appreciate the significance of that gift today. Help me to trust that when You throw a surprise party for me, it will always end up being good. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: So, let’s be gut honest here? Am I willing to trust God enough to let Him ‘surprise’ me with gifts that He chooses? Am I confident enough in the goodness of God to embrace His ‘surprises’ even when they don’t make sense to me? Can I allow the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to calm my questioning heart long enough to enjoy the ‘surprise’ God has for me today?

So what is God speaking to you today? Are you practicing the Kingdom presence of God?


We hope you’ll enjoy these 30 blogs that walk you through 30 days of Advent (Nov 26 – Dec 25). Here’s the homepage for the entire series.

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