The world became fascinated with an obscure, pregnant New York giraffe named “April” last February. Then most of the world lost interest, only to become fascinated and disappointed again a few weeks later when the baby failed to arrive. The crazy ongoing cycle of excitement and disenchantment left all but the most dedicated “birthers” feeling a bit jilted.

How could a giraffe be such a source of frustration?

The answer to that is easy: We live in a time where technology has removed most of the mystery from birth. Humans can know almost immediately that conception has occurred, pinpoint with incredible accuracy the date of delivery, and know the gender of a child months before arrival. For most of us, giving birth is more an administrative act than a miraculous one.

The idea of waiting 2-3 months in a delivery room is a foreign concept.

As a culture, we are drunk on the idea of “immediate gratification,” but the Bible has a lot to teach about “delayed gratification.”

April may be smarter than we give her credit. It almost seems as though she intentionally waited months in order to give birth, with the whole world watching, on Holy Saturday.

Holy Saturday: the day that Jesus lay dead in a tomb while a world (who had once watched) now gave up all hope.

On that fateful Saturday, after the violent murder of Hope on a cross, no one was expecting new birth to come.

All hope had been lost.

So I wonder if April had planned this all along? … a Holy Saturday birth, when the spiritual world rests and waits in the suffering darkness of delayed gratification.

At the most unlikely of times: birth.

New birth.

The advent of April's calf is a reminder of a far more important Advent of unlikely hope. Click To Tweet

Just like April’s baby, Jesus himself arrived in the most unlikely of moments after a season of great anticipation and expectation. His coming had been foretold too, and there was a time when many had watched and waited for it, but by the end there were few that were still looking.

Jesus surprised the world by arriving when few were still watching for him.

Jesus surprised the world again by returning when none expected his rebirth.

This is the miracle of Advent and Easter, and April reminded us as much on an otherwise dark Saturday morning during Holy Week.

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Kevin holds a Doctor of Ministry in Semiotics and Future Studies from Portland Seminary, where his work on Early Church spiritual formation passed with the rare honor of exemplary distinction. He is also a graduate of Cedarville University and Dallas Theological Seminary, holding degrees in Biblical Studies, Visual Communications, and Church Educational Leadership. Kevin has served on ministry staffs in some of the largest churches across the United States and is currently the Senior Minister of JupiterFIRST Church in Jupiter, Florida. His most important role, though, is husband to Sally and dad to four of Generation Z’s youngest members: Libbie, Lucy, Harris, and Matthew.