Wonder at Christmas
The wonder of Christmas… twinkling lights, presents, sweet treats, family hugs, candle glow, music, programs, church services, baking, decorating, rushing, wrapping,….Oh no! I just crossed over from wonder into the chaos of Christmas.
Children reflect this wonder in their eyes, amazed at the sights, sounds, and stories of the holiday. We get older and the routines of the season become work. We are responsible for making Christmas happen for our families, for making the celebration memorable.
If we’re not careful, somewhere in between the amazement of a child and the work of pulling it off as an adult, as sad thing happens.
We can lose the wonder of the season.
I can lose the wonder by getting caught up in the activities for preparation. I can take any project and make it complicated. Especially at Christmas with baking or crafts. My imagination runs ahead of my capability and I have to substitute one idea or ingredient for another. The finished project might be great, it takes longer than I thought and I will ask myself “Why did I think this idea from Pinterest would work for me?”
Sometimes that is our primary wonder of Christmas: “Why did I think doing this __________(fill in the blank) was a good idea when it only brought more hassle?”
In many ways our culture has lost a sense wonder. Technology and special effects capture our minds, but we miss the wonder of God at work. We settle for the “been there, done that” attitude instead of beholding the wonder of God’s plan intersecting with humanity. It’s easy to sing the familiar Christmas carols without truly hearing the words.
Let’s slow down and focus on the wonder of Christmas.
Look at this Christmas card of a nativity:
It’s a common card with a typical manger scene.
But do you see wonder? The wonder of prophecies fulfilled for our plan of redemption? Have you read his name?
“For unto to us a child is born, unto us a son is given,and he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV
Pause in wonder and worship at those descriptions of the newborn boy.
His name is Wonder-ful. “Wonder” translates from a word meaning something uncommon or out of the ordinary. This isn’t just any baby.This is the Son of God, fully God and fully human. But Jesus is called Wonder-ful. When was the last time you were amazed in wonder at the love of Jesus?
His name will be Counselor…Have you ever needed Jesus to be your wise, confidential advisor? The child we worship in the manger holds the consul of God from all eternity. We can approach Him in prayer for guidance.
The infant is Mighty God. It means “God-hero, warrior or champion.” He has the divine power as a mighty warrior. We can turn to Him as our defender and protector.
The babe in the manger is Everlasting Father. He longs to draw near to us and care for us, as a father does for his own child.
The child in Mary’s arms is the Prince of Peace because through His life, we are reconciled to God. In our personal relationship with Jesus, we can cast our cares upon Him in prayer. Then the Prince of peace arrives in our hearts.
The baby in the manger did not remain a child, but grew to become a man who served God’s purpose for our redemption.
It’s a mystery. I don’t fully understand it. But that doesn’t matter. I’m so thankful for the wonder of the God becoming one of us, of heaven’s love reaching down to save the world.
The song, “Here With Us” captures the wonder and mystery of Christmas.
As you enjoy the beauty of the season, may you keep the wonder of Christmas in your eyes and in your heart.
Next post in the blog series Words for Christmas: Expectations.