I Wonder

Last year around Christmas time I tweeted a few fragments of Christmas songs on the days leading up to Christmas.  I got a good response as people enjoyed taking time to meditate on the truths in lyrics such as:
“Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing”
 
“Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.”
 
“Son of God, love’s pure light”
 
“Till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.”
 
“Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart”
 
“O come let us adore him.”

Let us adore Him… what does it mean to adore him?  The dictionary tells us that to adore is to love and respect deeply. I hope that word adore never goes the way of the word awesome – you know, used so much that it loses its meaning.  God has created us with a need to adore – we all need something of wonder in our lives.  But wonder requires transcendence, where we see something beyond ourselves, something greater than ourselves, and we are in awe of it.  Like the shepherds when they looked up to see the angels, or the wise men when they looked up and saw the star – their looking up in wonder eventually led them to bow low before the Savior.

The problem is that we live in a society that presumes the absence of transcendence.  Everything is scientifically measurable and explainable.  Well, that just is not true.  But if you remove God from your worldview, you are doomed to yourself.  The wonder of you is as wonderful as your life gets.  Now, it is true that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that it is a wonder that our bodies and minds work as they do – we are wonderful creatures.  But the creation glorifies the Creator – and all of this wonder is a reflection of the transcendent and glorious God who simply fashioned into us a smidgeon of His image, His wonder.

I am not a wonder; the Creator God is a wonder. The event of Christmas is not wonder – the life of love with the eternal God that Christmas makes possible for us is wonder. And I need to wonder. I need to take time to wonder.

“I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
how Jesus the Savior did come for to die…”

 Even if I do acknowledge that God is “out there”, I may not be overcome by the fact that this Creator God in a very present help – I may yet not see Emmanuel, “God with us”.

This time of year finds us wrangled between the tensions of busyness and hollowness – activity that does not fill us up… with no room for wonder.  Commercialism has led us to substitute  shopping malls as the new place where we do our “sacrificial giving” in hope of scoring a gift that will bring wonder to a loved one.  I recently heard a commercial encouraging me to bring wonder into my Christmas by eating Chicken McNuggets with my family while shopping with them.  All of these claims are empty, but our hearts are not fooled.  To paraphrase Saint Augustine, “Our wonder-voids are wonderless until we find our wonder in You.”

Holidays are not a wonder; but holy days can be a wonder.
Busy-ness is not wonder; stopping to bow low is wonder.
Self-indulgence is not wonder; a God who emptied himself is a wonder.
He is a King.  He is God in flesh.  He is born of a virgin.  He is the Savior of the world.  We might all just experience a bit of transcendent wonder if we take time this season to stop… to look up… to bow low… to make space for the Savior.
“…let every heart prepare Him room.”

 

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