Here’s to hoping for a wonderful Christmas

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmastime brings to mind a personal experience a pastor once shared with our congregation. He recalled a Christmas when his 20-something-year-old son, Eric, was about kindergarten-age.

Their family attended several Christmas get-togethers in different homes of family members. Eric evidently spied the colorfully wrapped presents under the decorated tree at his aunt’s home. He realized that before opening the gifts he was, once again, going to hear the familiar Bible passage about the birth of Christ. It was more than he could stand.

In the vernacular of a small child, he piped up in a huff, “I’ve ‘hurd’ it, and I’ve ‘hurd’ it and I don’t want to hear it no more.” There’s a lesson for all of us in his comment.

Year after year, we hear the Christmas story and it can become so familiar we may lose the wonder of the miraculous birth of the Christ Child – we may lose our focus on the reason for the season.

Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle once said, “Wonder is the basis of worship.” The shepherds in the fields keeping watch over their flocks at night hurried to the manger to see the Savior, and returned glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard.

According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, “Wonder is the desire for knowledge.”  The wise men from the East traveled thousands of miles – for almost two years – just to find the newborn King and worship Him.

They followed a “star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright westward leading, still proceeding,” guided by its perfect light. Someone once said, “To travel the road to Bethlehem is to keep a rendezvous with wonder, to answer the call of wisdom, and to bow the knee in worship.”

Wonder can be defined as an emotion – getting excited by the unexpected or being surprised to find something – or even a remarkable event.  “The coming of Christ into the world is the most stupendous event in human history,” writes English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge.

The wonder of wonders is that God – being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man – (He) humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Jesus Christ was born to die to save from our sins.  As one

Christmas carol describes, “I wonder as I wander out under the sky how Jesus the Savior did come for to die for poor (ordinary) people like you and like I; I wonder as I wander out under the sky.”

Seven hundred years before His birth, the prophet Isaiah foretold, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder,” and this child would be called “Wonderful” (Isaiah 9:6).  Christ makes Christmas wonderful.

Don’t miss the wonder of the Christmas!  Have yourself a wonder-full Christmastime!