What we need

• The Christmas story teaches us the ‘salvation’ we desire can come in unexpected packages.

If the Christmas story teaches us anything, it is that the more certain we are that we can predict, or even identify, the intervention of God in this world, the more we should expect to be surprised by our miscalculation. The Holy One introduced his son into this world as a helpless baby, born in a barn in a forgotten town, where he is cradled in a feed trough by an unwed mother. It wasn’t the scenario most people expected, to be sure.

What intervention of the Divine are you looking for this Christmas? A more prosperous year ahead? Better health? World peace? Relational harmony? Deliverance from your problems? It could happen. Circumstances could change for the better. Your desire could be realized as you imagined and hoped.

But God is not a cosmic Santa Claus. It seems the Divine is not bent on giving us what we want, but rather what we need. Often it begins with a dose of humility—rather than looking for salvation in changed circumstances, we may find salvation in the changes we make within the circumstances we have. —DR

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