Have you noticed that we don’t have to teach a child wonder? Children seem to own awe. And so can we . . . Astonishment is on every page of the Christmas story, the true wonder we must never outgrow. In fact, we can experience the miracle of Christmas more fully than we did as a child by contemplating the incredible wonder of what God has done for us.
So, what would it take to walk out the Advent season in wide-eyed wonder?
First to understand, to really know, that we are an important part of the breathtaking story that took place on night divine when Christ came to earth to live and die for mankind. For me-kind, for you-kind. From crèche to cross just the way the prophets foretold long, long ago. And it happened.
Go figure, if you can.
We believe we know more than our ancestors because after all, they were techno-green. But somehow all that digital knowledge has diminished our ability to marvel, don’t you think? We want to understand it all and think we do, but in the process, we lose the child wonder.
I’d rather look past the earthiness and gaze on the loftiness to see more than I do.
Do you see what I see? Real people in history, a chosen flesh and blood nativity traveling miles on a donkey, one in labor, to arrive at the appointed place at the appointed time and yet no room except within the holy womb . . . on a silent night.
Do you see Joseph’s proud countenance of approval looking down on his exhausted virgin bride, encouraging her to give a mighty push upon the straw bed so carefully prepared to expel the holy offspring? This chosen man who played the special role of caring for the blessed-among-women and the Messiah baby to become a Messiah man. I like him.
Do you see the frightened expression on trembling shepherds who left their sheep to find a Lamb –and the royal visitors who weren’t so wise they still couldn’t be fascinated by a canopy of planets surrounding an amazing star to find the promise Isaiah spoke of?
And can you hear the angels praising high while knowing Bethlehem would pave the road to Golgotha?
Jesus’ birth was foretold, fulfilled and is still celebrated and sacred, no matter how we try to cover up our awe with decorations of glitz and bling.
As we pass by countless nativity scenes this season, let’s pause and add ourselves for a moment. Not among the plastic tradition that gets buried as an ornament every year, but within the struck-with-wonder-everlasting message of the manger that should stop us in our Advent tracks to believe with wide-eyed astonishment.
Every one of us has a story and it’s on the pages of this divine one. When faith and sight collide it makes for recreated wonder.
And when they saw they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this Child. And all who heard were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them. Luke 2:17, 18