Christmas Memories – Advent Devotion
December 1, 2020
A Disney Christmas Surprise
(by Kathy Guagliardo)
The year was 1983. My husband Joe worked late on Christmas Eve as he always did (He was a manager at Albertson’s supermarket in Lake Worth, FL). Joe got home about 10 p.m. that Christmas Eve.
Not long after Joe got home, we were sitting by the Christmas tree in our family room. Joe said, “I know you like to wait until Christmas morning to open our presents, but I was hoping you’d open this early Christmas Eve gift. Then you can decide whether to wait till morning or not to open our other gifts.”
My mind was swirling with possibilities. Did my husband get me a ring, or maybe some other kind of jewelry? That’s when Joe handed me an envelope and said, “Open it.” I did open it, and inside the card, it said, “We’re getting up at 5 a.m. and heading to Disney World for Christmas Day. We’re having breakfast at the Polynesian hotel and staying at a Disney hotel tomorrow night.”
I was pretty excited. We kissed, hugged, and yes, we opened our gifts on Christmas eve.
The Merriam-Webster definition of the word surprise in it’s verb form is: ASTONISH, ASTOUND, AMAZE, FLABBERGAST mean to impress forcibly through unexpectedness. SURPRISE stresses causing an effect through being unexpected but not necessarily unusual or novel.
Doesn’t that definition describe the effect Jesus had on His disciples and followers many times throughout His ministry? Jesus must have surprised His follower’s hundreds of times.
He fed 5000 with five loaves and two fish. Surprise!
He raised Lazarus from the dead. Surprise!
He changed water into wine. Surprise!
One can only imagine the awe and wonder Christ’s disciples may have felt at times during their travels with Him.
I’d have to say my favorite Jesus surprise (miracle) was when He calmed the storm.
“One day, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So, they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon, a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped, and all was calm. 2Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this, man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
Surprised, amazed, yes, even flabbergasted. I was surprised by Joe’s special Disney Christmas surprise for us. But, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live and travel with Jesus and never know what amazingly surprising thing He’ll do next. Or perhaps, I can. With Jesus, every day is an adventure, and I am continually amazed by the surprises He gives me
Dear Jesus, thank you for the many surprises and amazing things you do for me and all of us each day. It still amazes me every day that you died on the cross for me. Amen.
(By the way, that’s not the end of this Disney story. Joe will continue with it in tomorrow’s devotion.)