The Unexpected Messiah

From time immemorial humans have looked to their deities for the one who will save them from the fate of being human. Some look for a divine being to sweep away all the ravages that life on this small oceaned rock makes life hard, often miserable, sometimes fatal. Some look for a warrior of incomparable strength to save them from their enemies so they can live in peace. Some look for a leader so wise that all the uncertainties of life can be answered and life can be simple.

The visions of what this messiah should be are as numerous as the peoples who have walked through the journey of life. Priests, shamans, sages, seers have scoured what they considered sacred for clues to this One, so that they would be ready for that Great Arrival. And countless men and women have claimed they were the one, often kings, queens, emperors and empresses. Many as in Egypt would claim they were the gods incarnate.

A god incarnate. What a ridiculous idea. But humans never stopped looking.

God slipped in nearly unnoticed. Even the Israelites believed they had figured out what the messiah had to be. It is not their fault that they were looking in the wrong direction. So was everyone else.

He came from the wrong place, from the wrong time, and from the wrong family. For God, however, it was perfect. And for two thousand years those who have recognized God’s cleverest act since creation itself, celebrate both the event and the mystery. He is still the unexpected Messiah.

Nativity Icon, 7th Century, St. Catherine's Monastery, Egypt

Nativity Icon, 7th Century, St. Catherine's Monastery, Egypt

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