So, how’s your wonder? Are you still captured by Christmas, or have you already moved past it?
This week, in the United States, most of us have moved on from Christmas—it’s time for returning ill-fitting gifts, taking down the tree, and turning our minds toward New Year’s Resolutions…
But Christmas is still going on. RIGHT NOW.
Christmas is not one day, as in “Christmas Day,” instead it is a season. And the Christmas Season has nothing to do with shopping days. The season of Christmas does not start with Black Friday. Christmastide, the season of the nativity or celebration of the birth of Jesus, begins after Christmas Eve and is twelve days long.
We are meant to celebrate the Incarnation longer.
We are meant to dwell on,
not rush through,
the miracle of Immanuel.
Jesus came as a tiny baby. In this way, God demonstrated that we ought to cultivate humility, not pride. Yahweh shows that He can make big change with small means. God redeemed the purpose of mankind by allowing a man to reverse the curse brought by the first man—where Adam caused loss of fellowship with God, Jesus brought peace between God and man.
All of this is wonderful news. Shouldn’t we wonder at this, not just on Christmas Day, or during Christmastide, but all year long?
Amy wrote this post this week (and inspired this one). In it, she gave three examples of wonder:
Childlike wonder at the magic of this season.
Skeptical wonder in the corners of a heart . . . wondering, “Is it true?”
Hopeful wonder for what is to come this year.
She asked, which kind is hardest for you?
As for me, I don’t really struggle with skeptical wonder…I truly believe the miracle of Christmas and it amazes me that God’s love would be so rich. I think that believing this requires a bit of childlike wonder. Check. Check.
Where I lack is that sometimes I lose hope. Sometimes I don’t kindle the light of hopeful wonder by keeping the gifts of Christmas in the forefront of my mind. Some days, in little ways, the darkness encroaches. This looks like pessimism and sarcasm, dread and anxiety.
On the one hand, pesky enemies like these are easy to counter with biblical truths. On the other hand, this can be a constant and wearying process. Still, this is the good fight, where we learn to flex our faith muscles…definitely worth fighting. And the more we fight against darkness, the more we learn to grow hope as well.