12-21 Lifelines — The wonder of it all

By BETTIE MARLOWE
Posted 12/18/18

The wonder of it allFrom a time of reconciliation, love and delight in remembering the birth of Jesus, to a time of commercialism, dread and shopping frenzy, Christmas for many has lost its wonder. …

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12-21 Lifelines — The wonder of it all

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The wonder of it all


From a time of reconciliation, love and delight in remembering the birth of Jesus, to a time of commercialism, dread and shopping frenzy, Christmas for many has lost its wonder. Has it been covered over with a mountain of flashing lights, designer trees, wrapping paper, obligatory activities and ferocious competition?

Isaiah in the Old Testament saw the wonder of the birth of the Messiah. He said in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Mary knew the wonder. She said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46, 47). Because she kept these things and pondered them in her heart, nothing took away the thrill of the news she had received and the wonder of what was happening to her.

The shepherds also experienced the wonder. In Luke 2:15, we read, that after the announcement by the angels, they said to one another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” And they “came with haste” and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

The wise men in the East, immediately upon seeing the star, began a journey that was propelled by their sense of wonder and anticipation. It carried them through hundreds of miles and many months until, rejoicing with “exceeding great joy,” they found the young child and fell down and worshiped him, presenting him with gifts.

That’s the wonder of this glorious season that has somehow been lost.

People who worry about Jesus “not receiving gifts on his birthday” now should remember that we can give only ourselves to God; but Jesus told us to give to each other – that, too, is part of the wonder of Christmas. And there’s nothing wrong with that beautiful practice. It doesn’t really matter that we don’t know the actual day of His birth – what matters is that we celebrate Christ for the greatest gift to mankind.

The wonder never ceases! Simeon had waited all his life to see the promised Messiah. And when Jesus was brought to the temple according to the law -- as it was revealed to Simeon by the Holy Ghost – he exclaimed, “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (Luke 2:30).

As we begin our journey to find the Christ child, it will be the wonder that keeps us going. Even as we face obstacles and hindrances, God will reveal more and more of Himself and we find that in every part of this course, we will experience another aspect of his awesome presence. And our eyes will open to the amazing glory of our Lord.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound;

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m saved,

Was blind, but now I see.”

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