Theological Reflections from an Atypical Thanksgiving

    As most of the congregation knows, I spent Thanksgiving with the Barlow family in Disney World.  It was amazing.  Peyton, Nolan, and Boston were over the moon with excitement! They were troopers (actually they were Jedi in training) and went as hard as their little bodies could go.  

    But with all the excitement, something struck me on Thanksgiving Day as I was riding Space Ship Earth in Epcot with my boys.  Sitting there, I should have been listening to the voiceover share about all the achievements humanity has accomplished and will accomplish.  I wasn’t.  I was tuning out the Japanese voiceover because one of my overexcited boys was pressing buttons on the screen and we were now listening to the ride in Japanese instead of English prattle on about things I couldn’t possibly even begin to understand.  

    It was during that lull my mind remembered it was Thanksgiving Day.  I would normally be eating turkey and dressing.  I would traditionally be watching football and catching up with family in an easy chair.  But this year was atypical; I was getting to do something as foreign as the voice I was listening to at that time.  

    I could have sulked over the things that I didn’t get to do because of my atypical Thanksgiving experience.  I could have fretted over what this meant for the future of the traditions our family has carved out through the years.  I could have bemoaned the fact this was so far from my normal routine.  But as I was thinking all of this I remembered that we have a family in Joseph and Mary that kicked off their first ever Christmas together in an atypical way.  They weren’t in the comfort of their home as typical.  They didn’t get pregnant in the typical way.  They didn’t even birth the Savior of the world into the world in a typical way, yet they embraced all of it.

    Are you going to have an atypical Christmas for one reason or another?  Are you sulking, fretting, or bemoaning it?   God has and continues to show up in the midst of some of the most atypical events.  Be on the lookout this Advent and Christmas season, God may just show up if things don’t go quite to plan.  I know God did as I listened to a Japanese voiceover at Space Ship Earth in Epcot instead of Chris Collingsworth in front of a television screen.  Until Christmas Day, we wait and we pray for God to come.