I will never forget my first Christmas in the United States. My mother, older sister and I joined my father who had immigrated to the US several years earlier to accept a position as pastor of a Korean congregation located in New England. Of course, being Christian we understood what the holiday celebrated, but I had never seen so many Christmas lights and decorations in my life.
My eyes filled with wonder as we walked by store windows with twinkling lights, toys and mobile displays. There were street decorations in the cities, decorations on homes in the suburbs and Christmas music everywhere. It seemed as if the everyday world had become an enchanted place full of excitement and anticipation.
Years later as a parent, I relived that sense of wonder through the eyes of my young children as they would stare at our Christmas tree or count their presents. We would allow them to open up one gift of their choice on Christmas Eve. Eyes wide with excitement, they would scan their presents trying to pick the best one. They would keep changing their choice until we insisted they give us their final decision.
After ripping paper and squeals of delight, it was so difficult to calm them down for bedtime. And of course, they were up at the crack of dawn, hoping we would appear in the living room so they could open up their presents. I don’t ever remember getting very much sleep the night before Christmas!
Even though we are no longer children, I think most of us can still feel some of the wonder of Christmas. It may be when we hear a certain Christmas carol, smell some of our favorite holiday food, see a decorated tree or reunite with family and friends.
Christmas is indeed a wonder-filled time, but in the midst of our holiday busyness and the memories of Christmas past, how many of us take time to contemplate the true “Wonder” of Christmas? The familiar carol “O Come All Ye Faithful,” describes the “Christmas Wonder” well.
Highest most holy, Light of light eternal
Born of a virgin, a mortal He comes.
Son of the Father, now in flesh appearing
Oh, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
The real “Wonder” of Christmas is impossible to understand or describe. The God of the universe who created all that is, and sustains it by His power, literally came to this Earth in human flesh as one of us. Almighty God became helpless as a baby and lived an ordinary life in a small, rural village for 30 years. He then began a public ministry that lasted 3 years and culminated in His death and resurrection.
Why did He do it? He loves us so much that He wanted to demonstrate that love in a way that we could comprehend, a way that would be meaningful to us and let us know that we belong to His eternal family and He is always with us.
Jesus Christ is the true “Wonder” of Christmas. His birth signaled the greatest miracle of all time, the infinite God becoming one of us in order to love us back into relationship with Him. This year, take a little time to contemplate the true “Wonder” of Christmas!
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. I will be continuing the series, “The Nature and Character of God”. And there will be a special performance that you don’t want to miss!