Advent Reflection: Assumptions
From: Scott Erickson
It’s assumed that Mary rode on a donkey, but the Bible doesn’t say she did. It’s assumed there was an innkeeper, but it doesn’t mention one anywhere. It’s assumed there were three Magi, but it doesn’t give a number of those who showed up. It’s assumed there was a star overhead when Jesus was born, but it doesn’t say that either. It’s assumed that Jesus was born in a stable, but all it says is that He was laid in a manger - and that could’ve been any number of places. Christmas comes with many assumptions—some helpful, some not so much. Spirituality also comes with many assumptions, and the ones that fail us are the ones we make about what it’s supposed to look like, who is worthy for it to happen to, and what kind of outcome it’s supposed to have for us. Assumptions like . . . You should be more than you are now to be pleasing to God. Your weaknesses are in the way of God’s plan for your life. Your lack of religious excitement disqualifies you from divine participation. You’re probably not doing it right. Other spiritual people have something you don’t have. Our assumptions hinder our spiritual journey in all kinds of ways, and the antidote to assumption is surprise. The surprise of Christ’s incarnation is that it happened in Mary’s day as it is happening every day in your lack of resources, your overcrowded lodging, your unlit night sky, your humble surroundings. It’s a surprise that life can come through barren places. It’s a surprise that meek nobodies partake in divine plans. It’s a surprise that messengers are sent all along the hidden journey of life to let you know you are not alone. It’s a surprise that you will be given everything you need to accomplish what you’ve been asked to do. It’s a surprise that nothing can separate you from the love of God. Nothing can separate you from love.Your assumptions believe there must be something that can . . . But surprise! Nothing can. May you thank God with joyful surprise at how much you have assumed incorrectly.