Honest Advent: Day 22

December 22, 2022, By: Crossroads Church

Day 22: Unexpected

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” Luke 2:8

It’s often asked, “What’s the best Christmas present you ever received?” What’s UNEXPECTED is to hear, “What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?” My answer to the latter question is also UNEXPECTED.

I’m fairly generous. But I dislike shopping. Fortunately for our family and friends, Sherrie enjoys buying gifts. Early the morning of Christmas 2003 I created a different kind of Christmas gift. Unexpectedly, my gift to each person was one word (along with a phrase explanation) printed on holiday paper. Each word described or could inspire the person. Before judging me a cheapskate, know that my son describes the word I gave him as his best Christmas present ever.

Bret was a 15-year-old whose classmates towered over him. The word I gave him was TITAN—“Colossal size, strength, and achievement.” All eyes, including Bret’s, teared up when I gave him the paper and explained he was a giant in my mind. That night he created a Titan display in his bedroom. That word became a tattoo on his upper back three years later. He is still short but extremely muscular…and a titan as a Marine, a husband, a dad, and a son. If I know he’s in a tough situation, I sometimes write him a one-word text. He quickly sends a reply of gratitude.

The book of John describes Jesus as The Word, an UNEXPECTED description. The right word—whether celestial or earthly—is often UNEXPECTED…and powerful.

—Gregg Piburn