Surprise, surprise, surprise………
Do you remember Gomer Pyle, the simple-minded gas station attendant and later auto mechanic in the iconic American TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show? His trademark exclamation “sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!” punctuated countless episodes and invited viewers to pause and smile as they absorbed the endearing story lines that emerged out of the fictional town of Mayberry, R.F.D.
re’s a thought. Reading the parables of Jesus from scripture, I wonder if we could find a place in each one to insert Gomer’s “surprise, surprise, surprise,” a place where we are invited to pause and smile as Jesus teaches through simple and enduring every day images and stories but always seems to punctuate them with a surprise, a twist, a poignant turn, that says something important about the nature of God and life in his kingdom.
Think about it. Would a good shepherd leave ninety-nine obedient sheep 99 to find just one lost stray? Well, “surprise, surprise, surprise,” according to Jesus, yes! Would a poor widow after frantically searching for a lost coin representing a tenth of her life saving really throw a big party for all her friends and neighbors after finding it? Again, “surprise, surprise, surprise,” yes she would! Or from this past Sunday’s gospel, would an employer really commend the employee who after being fired finds a way to trade in on his crisis to secure his future? Well, as Jesus tells the story, “surprise, surprise, surprise,” that’s exactly what happens.
When is the last time God surprised you?
Lord Jesus, you delight to break into the everyday episodes of our lives with goodness and mercy. Open our eyes to your astonishing presence, awaken us by your amazing grace, and fill us with wonder as your embrace us in ever surprising ways. Amen.