This is the season for pondering the wonder of the greatest Christmas gift ever.
If we don’t take time to ponder at Christmas the season will leave us feeling more like a hampster circling on an endless wheel.
As a friend of mine said recently, “we need to own the season or the culture will own us,” and we risk losing our soul, not just our pocketbook.
Earlier this month a friend invited a group of men to write down on paper what they saw in the Christmas story worth pondering.
Their list included things like:
- The vulnerable nature of Christ’s birth
- The humanness of Christ
- God’s boundless love
- His gifts of mercy and grace
- Gods’ light show in the Bethlehem countryside
- The magnitude of the celestial celebration
- Spontaneous joy
- The town buzz after his birth
- An infinite God became an infant
Not long ago I focused on the first phrase on this list – The vulnerability of Jesus at birth
It amazed me that an infinite God embraced all of the risks of taking on a human form, and that of an infant
- He was defenseless before the deceitful King Herod in Jerusalem. Who when he feigned interest in the wise man’s search for his place of birth, in reality only wanted to snuff out his life.
- What if Herod had sent along a couple of soldiers to accompany the wise men in their search for the birthplace of the Messiah in Bethlehem?
- What if the wise men had returned to Jerusalem to inform Herod of the Messiah’s residence?
- What if Mary & Joseph had not been advised by an angel to flee into Egypt before Herod’s soldiers arrived to kill the newborn male infants?
- What if the babe in the manager had contracted some disease while exposed to the physical elements where He was born?
- What if his parents had failed to provide and care for all his human needs.
Jesus submitted himself to all these “what-ifs” and more at his birth. And yet God the Father oversaw every detail and made a point of recording in the narrative that all these delicate details were foreknown beforehand. Nothing was outside of the Father’s control and care. He was protecting His Son every step of the way. Certainly, that produces a measure of wonder and cause to ponder this Christmas season.
Let me invite you to create your own list of ponderings. For as my friend said to me, “Christmas should not be a ponder-free zone.” Instead, it should lead us to spend time, like Mary, and ponder all the details of our Saviors birth in our hearts.
May this season find you filled with wonder as you ponder
the coming of our Lord to earth 2000 years ago.
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