“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.”  –  Luke 2:6

Everything about His arrival was unexpected. His mom and dad. His birthplace. The town in which He was born. Not what you might expect as the proper entrance for the King of Kings.

This is consistent with so much of the Scriptures. It is a wonderful and mysterious pattern that our God and Father establishes as normal. Perhaps it is to keep us control freaks from trying to know His mind and make sense of His wisdom. Or it could be that God wants us to learn to trust Him when the math doesn’t add up. It’s a norm at I have come to live with, and have a growing peace that has come with my contentment in God’s timing and ways.

Maybe that’s why I was struck by the passage in the second chapter of Luke. For the first time I noticed that Jesus’ birth seemed to be a bit earlier than His parents’ had expected. Joseph and Mary have gone to Bethlehem to register, in keeping with the decree from Caesar Augustus. The equivalent of the census. Lo and behold, Mary’s water breaks and it’s time to deliver! Not when, where and how they had imagined their laboring would take place!

And so it will be at His second coming.

The Son of Man’s return will be as when labor pains come upon a pregnant woman. It won’t be a complete surprise. I’ve been through this three times. I had a good 7-8 months notice. As for the exact time, of course not. But I knew a baby was coming.

We know Jesus is coming again.

We just don’t know when.

There are signs. There are contractions, and they a getting closer together. Yes, He is coming soon. And like His first advent, it would appear He will come at an hour no one expects. Earlier than His parents that His birth would happen. No doubt, earlier than the World expects.

So this advent season, let’s leave an overnight bag by the door. Let’s prepare room for His return as we celebrate His arrival. Let’s continue what the shepherds began, and herald the wedding announcement.

Good news. Great joy. Everyone’s invited.  Have you responded?

He is coming again, and if history repeats itself, He is likely to be early.