My Christmas prayer for you is that you will not ignore the 2 x 4 of God’s grace when it whacks you upside the head.
Does that sound doctrinally warped? I assure you I don’t see God as a mean, vindictive, bullying maniac who likes to hurt people. The 2 x 4 is proverbial, after all.
He does not want us to miss what He has for us — does not want us to spend our lives constantly conjuring up expectation and living on the fumes of anticipation only to be disappointed by all the someones and somethings we think are going to save us, make us happy, give us meaning, etc.
Consider who didn’t miss His first coming. Then, consider why…
First, there is a young couple who got visits from a warrior angel named Gabriel to ensure that they were fully read-in on the plan. That sounds hard to ignore to me.
Then there were some wise-men/astrologers from “the east” (you know, like Iraq maybe) and some common sheep herders (my pastor calls them “lunch pail people”). The astrologers got a stellar configuration we call “the star” and the shepherds got the heavenly host.
So, pretty much, God whacked them all over the head with proverbial 2 x 4’s and, instead of denying the sensation (pain and fear) and missing the Messiah, they looked up and said, “huh?”
That is not the whole story, but is a the beginning. God shows up and we stand with our mouths open in amazement. The beyond-extraordinary thing is that when we look up and say, “huh?” He answers. Time and again.