by: Rich Vaughan
The Christian journey, and of course the Advent/Christmas journey, is full of wonder. The word “wonder” can be described in 2 ways: as a NOUN it means “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable” and as a VERB it can mean the “desire or curiosity to know something”. In this devotional today I am using it both ways.
As a pastor I have always loved the true story of a little boy on a church picnic and during the outing he stops for a moment, looks around at the beauty of nature that surrounds him, and he says, “God wonders me!”. Maybe not proper English but great theology! It is what we should be saying as we ponder the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke. How can you not feel wonder as the story unfolds? In the words of the dictionary for the noun wonder, the Christmas story is “something beautiful”. It was “unexpected” when it occurred and, in many ways, it remains a story that is “inexplicable” to the average human being. As a verb, the wonder of the Christmas story calls to us to know more. In the human heart there is a “desire or curiosity to know something” more about this moment.
So, as I wander as a Christian through this year of 2020 and wander as a Christian/Pastor though another Advent/Christmas season, I continue to feel “wonder”. I continue to read Matthew and Luke and find as I “wander” through those 2 scriptures of the Christmas story account I am filled with “wonder”. Almost like a child (and since I am a child of God, I don’t mind that analogy) I find myself moved by the “wonder” (noun) of the story and filled with the “wonder” (verb) to know more every time I read it. I “wonder” at the scene that the scriptures paint. The stable/cave, the smells, the animals, the swaddling clothes, the night sky, the stillness of the night broken by a heavenly serenade and the glory of a star shinning so brightly it would lead magi later to the same spot. I “wonder” about the Shepherds and what it must have been like to go from fear to amazement in a short period of time. I “wonder” what Mary and Joseph and all of Bethlehem were thinking as the birth occurred and the events unfolded.
May you and I never lose the sense of wonder at this season and from these scriptures and may all of us always be ready for ‘GOD TO WONDER US”. Amen and Amen.