"The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." John 1: 14 (Full scripture reading: John 1: 1-14)
As a routine just before we go to sleep, as part of our reflection on the day, my wife Jackie and I ask one another what surprised us today. Sometimes the surprise will be a little thing about how cold it was outside. Other times, the surprise will be more surprising like something someone said, or something we saw.
The shoppers at Macy's department store in Philadelphia experienced a surprising event on October 30, 2010. It was a normal shopping day. Then what seemed out of nowhere, over 650 singers from the area joined together with the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus and began to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. When it started to happen the shoppers were confused. The singers were not performing on a stage, but were interspersed with the shoppers and were dressed in every day attire. Many non-singing shoppers took out their electronic devices and recorded it. The event made it to the internet. This 'random act of culture' looked spontaneous, but it took a significant amount of planning to make it happen.
When we reflect on the Jesus coming to earth, it initially seemed like a random birth. Though only a few were aware of Jesus coming, most people were unaware of the plans that were made in heaven for Jesus to come as the Saviour of the world. The book of John talks about this planning. This birth of Jesus was far more than a simple occasion of a young woman giving birth in a stable. This was an event which God carefully planned to rescue the people and have them know they are loved and nothing - not even death can separate them from his love.
Let us give thanks and celebrate because in God's great love, God made his presence with us on earth. We thank God for his great plan of Salvation for all people.