It’s the kind of wonder Lucy Pevensie experienced when she first stepped out of the moth ball-infused wardrobe into the wintery magic of Narnia. It’s the kind of wonder movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and books like “A Christmas Carol” are made of. It’s the kind where angelic hosts light up the night and lowly, dirty shepherds kneel in the presence of a King. Wonder is what Christmas is made of.
You can step into the cold, wintery streets and almost feel it. In the midst of a desolate season, where new life seems to be hibernating replaced by bare branches and hardened ground, a light permeates the darkness. A light of hope, excitement, and immense, indescribable wonder.
I undoubtedly agree that Christmas is, as the old classic sings, “the most wonderful time of the year.” It’s as if nearly everyone (except perhaps that one grumpy lady at the mall on Black Friday…) forgets their anger and bitterness and are filled with child-like anticipation.
Oftentimes, I feel as if the season of Christmas is a glimpse of what God’s Kingdom should look like. It is the one time a year where people all around the world unite in celebration… even if some don’t want to acknowledge the baby in the manger as Savior of the world.
It is during Christmas that people are oftentimes most receptive of the gospel. Because during Christmas everyone is looking for that miracle. That good news.
When you have God dwelling inside you, every day can be like Christmas. Every day is a miracle and a declaration of good news. Every day you can be captivated by wonder.
Max Lucado wrote in his Christmas book In the Manger: 25 Inspirational Selections for Advent,
“Christ grew in Mary until He had to come out. Christ will grow in you until the same occurs. He will come out in your speech, in your actions, in your decisions. Every place you live will be a Bethlehem and every day you live will be a Christmas. You, like Mary, will deliver Christ into the world.”
This Christmas, will you be still enough to behold God? Will you be still enough to experience the wonder? Or will you be distracted by all the festivities and forget the wonder of what Christmas is all about?
I don’t mean the earthly Christmas wonders of black and white movies, gingerbread houses, packages piled up under the tree, cookie exchanges at church, or even celebrations with family and friends. Those things are wonderful and are some of my favorite festivities of the holiday season.
But will you be still enough to experience the wonder of a Holy God swaddled, laid in a dirty manger, worshipped by common people like you and me? Will you be still enough to experience the wonder of a perfect Christ hanging on the cross in the place of you and me? Will you be still enough to experience the wonder of being filled with the fullness of God?
Ann Voskamp wrote,
“You don’t have to work for Christmas. You don’t have to earn Christmas. You don’t have to perform Christmas. You don’t have to make Christmas. You don’t have to work for the coming of the LORD. The miracle is that God is gracious. Just come as you are. You always get your Christmas miracle. You get God with you.”
Every year Christmas eventually has to leave us. As we return to our daily oftentimes mundane lives, it seems the wonder of the gospel escapes us. We forget the excitement, the anticipation, and the celebration. The world returns to its anger and its heart is once again hardened to the King in the manger. But we, as children of God, can still have that wonder. And we can still share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Mathew 1:23 says, “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”
God is with us. There is not a millisecond He leaves us, and He will never, ever forsake us. Forever, He is Immanuel. God with us.
Ephesians 3:19 says, “And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.”
To be filled with the fullness of God. That alone should leave each one of us standing in a state of wonder and awe. You see, we have been given the ultimate gift. We are sinners saved by infinite grace. We are undeservedly filled with God.
Every day, we can walk into Narnia and stand in childlike wonder. Every day, just like George Baily, we can know how important life is and live in the identity Christ has given. Every day we can dance with joy in the darkness and give generously just like Ebenezer Scrooge.
And every day we can join the angelic, new song of salvation. Every day we, like the lowly shepherds outside of Bethlehem, can kneel in the presence of the King.
This Christmas season and this upcoming year, will you be still enough to experience the wonder?