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Restoring our attitude of wonder about Christmas

When you get down to it and get all the trimmings out of the way, the story of Christmas is that God decided that in the person of His Son, He would add humanity to deity and be born.  His Son, Jesus, came into the world to give us a living, breathing demonstration of what God is like.  He also came to show us what we are really like, to give us something to measure ourselves against.  He came so that through His death, He would do something about the gap between what God is like and what we are like!

The celebration of Christmas helps us to focus on something stupendous.  It is possible for us to trivialize and commercialize it.  That is exactly what our culture does with stupendous events.  It is perfectly possible for us to trivialize it by saying that we believe it without really grasping its significance.  G.K. Chesterton said, “The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder!”  In other words, there will never be a lack of stupendous things going on, but there will always be a lack of people who can see how stupendous these things are because our human tendency is to begin to ignore them.

I mean, let’s face it!  This whole business of the incarnation, of Christmas, is either the most remarkable Truth or the most unadulterated nonsense!  There is nothing in-between.  There is no shortage of people who don’t really believe that God assumed our humanity and came into the world in the person of His Son to redeem us.  But they wouldn’t miss Christmas because they buy into all the trivialization and commercialization of it and miss the point!  That is why we have Advent, when we can prepare our hearts to come to grips with what it is all about.   And the stories of people who were eyewitnesses and deeply involved in the original coming of Christ can help us grasp the meaning and the wonder of Christmas.  Let’s look at the story of Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Chapter 1 of Luke’s Gospel reports that God sent an angel to tell a young virgin that she was going to give birth to God’s Son.   Mary may have been only no more than 14 years old, living in a little town called Nazareth, probably no more than 2,000 inhabitants. Think of the wonder of it!  An angel visits a little unheard-of girl in po-dunk Nazareth and tells her she is going to bear God’s Son.

How does she respond?  She says: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said!”  Her reaction is one of submission.  What a beautiful attitude!  It’s rare to come across such a humble, submissive, servant attitude.  She also responds with faith, believing that God can and will do what the angel has told her.  And later in Luke Chapter 1, she responds in worship, singing a song called “The Magnificat,” in which she praises God.

Her attitude of submission, trust and worship can help you to prepare for Christmas!  Let’s pray together.

Gracious Lord, we are so grateful for your hand of blessing upon us!  Thank you for allowing us to conclude that nothing is impossible with you! Sometimes, we’re so absorbed with our own concerns and pains that we forget to worship and to wonder and to rejoice!  Would you therefore, this Christmas time, in this Advent season, help us to “wonder” all over again at the “wonders” you have wrought?  Help us to live in the good of the fact that Christ came and lived and died and rose again, that we might be reconciled to God, have peace with God, and receive eternal life! That things will be accomplished to your great glory and mankind’s greater good.   For we pray in Christ’s name.  Amen.