It snowed in Texas yesterday--a real snow that came down in big wet flakes that actually stuck.  

I happened to be making a grocery run when it started to snow really hard.  As I made my way to the entrance to the store, everyone I encountered had a surprised and joyous look on their face.  

At one point in the evening my boys were having a snowball fight with the neighbor kids down the street.  I stood on the steps watching the snow fall and could hear them shrieking for joy.  

I've lived in places where it snowed more than once every few years.  But this particular little snowstorm in Texas ranks up there with the most memorable in my life--mostly because it was so surprising.  

This Advent season I have been reading through the book of Revelation from the New Testament. It's a difficult book to decipher with all of its first century references, and strange images.  

But what I love about Revelation is that in every moment when you think that the world is about to end, when everything is going to fall completely apart---a worship service breaks out, a party ensues and everyone rejoices. 

When it seems like all is lost, God surprises everyone with a celebration.  

Psalm 126:1-2 has these beautiful words sung by the ancient people of Israel--people who had endured a hard season of uncertainty, but who were suddenly surprised by the joy of the Lord:
"When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.  Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy."  
May you be surprised by joy today.  May you know in your heart of hearts that no matter how bleak the state of the world might seem, that God is still full of grace-filled, joyous surprises.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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