The stories of Christmas are stories of surprise, of quite unexpected events happening in the most unusual of ways:
- an elderly couple named Zechariah and Elizabeth conceive, long after they have given up hope;
- a virgin mother conceives, long before she had even started to hope;
- shepherds receive a band of caroling angels, something they would never have even considered hoping for;
- and wise men from the East encounter the king they expected, not in a palace, but in a manger.
Each of them had a way they thought their lives were going to work out, an expectation of how they thought their lives would unfold. They knew their story, what had brought them to this point, and they thought the rest of their story would unfold with some continuity with the old. Some of them were resigned to that old story; some of them looked forward to it. But the stories of Christmas are about how God’s story is better than the stories they had for themselves.