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Christmas is a time of surprises! The world could be said to be divided into two kinds of people: those who like surprises and those who don’t! For children, there’s usually a whole world of surprises to unwrap on Christmas Day and the majority of these are embraced gratefully. New toys, new clothes, new books can all be a really enjoyable part of our Christmas celebrations.

The fact that we have Christmas at all is a massive surprise we can be thankful for. God had spoken of sending a Saviour, a Redeemer, into the world for many years, but even though the Jews were eagerly awaiting this Messiah, the manner of His arrival caught everyone by surprise. No one expected a baby from a poor Jewish family to be born in a stable; no one expected the chaos of the influx of people to Bethlehem to be the sign that God’s salvation was about to appear. Christmas reminds us that God has the capacity to surprise us, to do things unexpectedly. The power of the gospel lies in this topsy-turvy way of doing things (see 1 Cor 1:18-25).