The Unlikely Choice
Surprise! Human beings are excited about surprises, especially when it is a pleasant one. It is one reason the Father Christmas tradition is still active and relevant in many cultures, because he is believed to have been going about and giving out gifts that take us by surprise. It is my prayer that God will visit you with a pleasant surprise this Christmas and in the New Year! May divine selection affect someone this Christmas, and may his or her position, title, residence, car, attitude, family situation etc change miraculously! We will soon discover that the Christmas narrative (Nativity story) is full of unlikely choices.
Occasionally you receive gifts you hardly expected or donations that you think you didn’t deserve. And this makes you the unlikely choice or the unexpected recipient. It could also come in the form of an appointment, a promotion, a business deal, a marriage proposal, or a child birth that you think you were not qualified for. Human beings observe certain protocols when giving gifts or selecting people for certain offers, appointments and positions. They might consider your family background to find out if you are a Mandela or a Sisulu. Your level of education could be a factor, as you don’t stand a chance to be selected over a professor. Your financial capacity could be a catalyst for selection; the richer you are, the better your chances. Beauty pageants look for the most beautiful, in boxing the referee selects the stronger of the two combatants, judges in track athletics pick the fastest, and the best performer is always located in competitions to carry the much-coveted prize.
Thankfully God’s standards are different because, “His ways are not our ways” (Isa 55:8). God’s criterion for selection is grace or underserved favour. God will rather qualify those disqualified by human standards. According to the Preacher, “the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not for the strong …” (Eccle 9:11). With God, the less qualified you are, the better are your chances of winning the contest. Paul states categorically, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:26-27).
The Christmas story is full of unlikely choices. Ultimately God’s gift to humanity in Christ Jesus is the most amazing surprise anyone can imagine. No wonder His birth occurred among people, at a place, and in circumstances that were rather unexpected. In deed there were many unlikely choices connected to the birth of Christ, the following are just a few:
– The choice of Mary as mother of God
– The choice of Bethlehem as the place for the most famous birth
– The choice of a manger for the site of birth Christ’s birth
– The choice of the shepherds as the first audience to the news of His birth.
Let’s now consider them individually.
By Apostle Dr. Dela Quampah