There is something about this month of December that prompts us to celebrate! In doing so, we adjust our schedules to expend great energy and invest much time. However, there is an irony at Christmas for the Christians. Its attraction can become a distraction! We love the lights and the celebration, the food and the fun. But if we are not careful, we find ourselves caught up in the busyness of Christmas and don’t take time to reflect on the wonderment of it all. The first Christmas was certainly surrounded by wonder:
In Luke 1:18, Zechariah wondered how he and his elderly wife could give birth to the forerunner of the Messiah.
In Luke 1:34, Mary wondered how it would be possible for a virgin to give birth to a baby.
In Matthew 1:18-25 Joseph wondered why he and Mary had been chosen by God to be the parents of the Messiah.
In Luke 2:13-15 the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem wondered about the angels that appeared in the sky, and what their message meant.
In Luke 2:17-18 those in Bethlehem wondered about the story that the shepherds were spreading throughout the city.
In Luke 2:19 Mary wondered about everything that was happening at the birth of her baby.
In Luke 2:25-32 Simeon wondered at the blessing of being able, before he died, to see the child-Messiah.
In Luke 2:33-35, Mary and Joseph "marveled" at the words prophesied by Simeon about their baby, Jesus.
In Luke 2:38 the people in the temple that day no doubt wondered about the words of Anna, the prophetess, who spoke about the redemption to come through the baby Jesus.
In Matthew 2:1-12, the magi must have wondered about the meaning of the star they saw, and the baby to whom they brought gifts, and about the dream that warned them against Herod.
In Matthew 2:13-15, Joseph wondered about his dream that warned him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt to avoid Herod.
Those are just the moments of wonder that are recorded for us in Scripture. But think how many more countless moments there must have been among the people of Nazareth and Judea who were witnesses to the first Christmas. What would you and I have thought if we had been living there when the first Christmas took place? How many nights would we have sat up late talking about these events, trying to put two and two together? I can assure you we would have exhibited far more wonder than we do today.
A good place to start this year is to spend some time reflecting on the wonders of the true Christmas story. Raise the questions, study the Scriptures, give thanks for what you know, and pray about what you don't. Wondering and marveling at what God has done is one way to Rejoice in God’s blessing this Christmas as we life up His Son for all the world to see.
My wonderful Lord, my wonderful Lord,
By angels and seraphs in Heaven adore;
I know Thou art mine, my Saviour divine,
My Wonderful, Wonderful Lord!
Again this year from our hearts we deeply appreciate your prayers for us, for our family and for our ministries. As we approach the end of 2017 from our home to your home, we want to wish you a blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Christ-centered and fruitful NEW YEAR in the Lord during 2018.
Yours because of the Cradle, Cross and the Coming Crown,
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