God’s Christmas Surprise

By Beth Todd, Global Strategy Missionary to Brazil

In one of the churches that we visited this month, we were asked to share a missions moment on love. What a huge topic for Christmas! After some thought, what struck me most was the surprising nature of God’s love. His love never shows up in ways we expect. Christmas is one of the primary examples of that. During this time, 2,000 years ago, Israel was waiting for God to fulfill His promises of a king in the line of David. When David was king, those were the glory days of the nation of Israel. Two thousand years ago, though, they were scattered, conquered, and ruled by the Romans, and they longed for a king to come and unite them again. They longed and prayed for a conquering ruler to come with a sword in his hand and reestablish the rule of Israel as it had been. God did indeed send a king, but what did He send? A baby, and not just any baby. He sent His son to bring not just Israel but all of humanity into God’s Kingdom. What surprising love of God!

God’s love enters into our world in ways that are upside down and backwards to us. At Christmas, we love to give gifts—especially that gift that is just perfect and will last and last. However, I sometimes think that we have it backward with this idea. What truly has significance and will last (let’s say for eternity), is the joy and generosity of a loving heart. Acts of love have far more lasting power than physical things. When someone is the recipient of an inexplicable and extravagant act of love, it blows their minds! What surprising love, which surely comes from God!

I write this to say that over our past year in Brazil and our time here in the States, our minds have repeatedly been blown by our Brazilian and North American Christian families. We have encountered God’s love through you in surprising ways. We are so grateful for it, and pray that you will see blessings from it in unexpected ways.


Beth and Jonathan Todd are Global Strategy missionaries to Brazil. To learn more about their story and their ministry, visit their profile.

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