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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: Counterintuitive as in… “contrary to what is logical, counter to intuitive expectations.”

The Messenger knew that those living in a land of deep darkness would be looking for something else, for someone else. They were looking for someone walking heavy-footed and carrying a big stick, a military leader who would finally tell Rome where to go.

“This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby….” A baby, not a soldier? An infant, not a warrior?

“…a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Strips of cloth, not a robe? A manger, not a palace?

How very poignantly counterintuitive. In Pete Greig’s book, Dirty Glory: Go Where Your Best Prayers Take You, he writes, “A baby, lying in a manger. I have become so familiar with this story that I forget to be shocked by it. This is the staggering message of Christ’s incarnation: God’s glory became dirt so that we—the [dust] of the earth— might become the very glory of God.”

How very counterintuitive. And this is just the beginning.

God’s living Word, cooing, gurgling, squealing, crying. The One whose name was above every other name is nameless during the first week of his life. The Creator of the sun, moon, and stars becomes a woodworker, a carpenter, making tables around which people gather to share the Bread of Life. The infinite becoming finite, Divinity becoming humanity, “infinity dwindled to infancy,” as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins writes. How very counterintuitive.

Friends, when you finally arrive at the manger this Christmas, consider this: Jesus is the Ruler of rulers, the King of kings, the Leader of leaders, born not in a palace, but a cave, a stable. Jesus, though a king, is The Baby nestled into a feeding trough of our hearts and lives because there was no room in the Inn and no crib for a bed.

Jesus is light in our darkness, breath in our lungs, hope in our despair, peace in our turmoil, healing in our brokenness, and eternal love in our temporary lives.

How very counterintuitive.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog,  Thriv’ëra Rhythms.

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