The wonder of it all l Worship

By Mark Smith | Dec 19, 2018

Of all the folks that figure in the Christmas story, I relate most to the shepherds.  The shepherds were not of privileged background. They were simple, common people engaged in the ordinary business of daily living.

They, like you and me, had their own share of difficult people and impossible situations in their lives. They were a bundle of hopes and fears that night in Bethlehem, glad for whatever was good in their lives, yet wishing life could be better.

And then, suddenly, their lives took a dramatic turn. While watching their flocks by night, they were met by a bright light and by an angel and a whole heavenly host proclaiming and singing the tremendous news that unto them a Savior had been born who was Christ the Lord.

"They were filled with fear," says the scripture. After getting over the original terror and shock of being met by angels, their fear gave way to sheer wonder and sheer astonishment. Before hurrying off to Bethlehem to see what had taken place, they must have stood there for a while, dumbfounded and awestruck – lost in the wonder of it all.

We’ve all had those wondrous “wow” moments of life, haven’t we – those awestruck moments that simply take your breath away. The moment when you first laid eyes upon your newborn child. The breath taking beauty of Hurricane Ridge on a clear day. Your first visit to the Grand Canyon.

Trouble is, if we are not careful, it is possible to lose our capacity for wonder over time.

A group traveling by train through the Rocky Mountains was thrilled and visibly moved by the magnificent panorama. The Grand Tetons are really an amazing sight. A woman on the train with them hardly raised her eyes from her book, and when she was asked why, she explained, “This is the 13th time I have crossed the mountains. The first time I could not keep the tears from rolling down my cheeks, so impressed was I. But now I have known it so well that I frequently go through the whole range with scarcely a glance out the window.”

Her sense of wonder was gone and she no long recognized the grandeur of the breath-taking beauty around her.

The same thing can happen with regard to the marvel, the mystery and the majesty of God and the wonder of Christmas.

We know the Christmas story of how God came into this world in Jesus – no grander story is told. But heaven help us if we ever allow that story become “old hat” and dull.

Peter Marshall, the famous Presbyterian minister once said: "When Christmas doesn't make your heart swell up until it nearly bursts and fills your eyes with tears and make you all soft and warm inside . . . then you will know that something inside you is dead."

 

 

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