Have you ever watched a young child playing with tissue paper? Time with the gift will come, but for now there is fascination with the paper. Young children regularly experience wonder. As we grow, we allow wonder to be displaced by knowledge—or the “maturity” of completing one task and moving to the next. Around Christmas in particular I become busy in the activities of the season, to the point I don’t allow time for wonder. Busyness interferes with my enjoyment of the activities, friends, and wonder of the season. I suspect I’m not alone.
I have been struggling with this recently. Wonder is possible when we encounter something beyond our experience or understanding, but we need to give it room. If the Christmas story has become too familiar, if buying gifts is too routine, or if we have allowed our many activities to press us into a rush, wonder will be hard to find. Yet, if we open ourselves to wonder it can come upon us even amid activity. That is what happened to me yesterday, as I was shopping. I had been talking to Papa about my lack of wonder and He had prompted me to think on His extravagant love gift in The Son. Nice thoughts, but too routine, too intellectual; no wonder. But yesterday, as I walked through a store looking at things, I became aware of the music in the background, music that was familiar. Right there, amid my shopping, I focused on the song and remembered the lyric . . . I can only imagine. In that moment I started to tear-up as the Spirit connected ideas of imagine and great love in the context of The Son laying down His life. Right there, amid my shopping, I experienced a glimmer of renewed wonder. Are you open to wonder?
Read this bit slowly. The Father, Son, and Spirit loved before they created. In their experience of love, the Son was slain before the foundation of the world. The provision for restoring their creation was eternally certain before they created the world. But after creation, there came a particular point where that provision needed to occur in time-space history. So it was, about 2,000 years ago, that The Son set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, He became human! He provided us insight into His motivation during an intimate conversation with eleven of His friends. As John reports it, after His final dinner and before walking outside the city to pray, Jesus explains: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. I know we frequently think of this lay down one’s life as relating to His death, and it does; but there is more. Much more. Imagine the Creator-Sustainer of All enjoying His rightful status as King of the Universe, add to your image those of some old testament prophets (like Isaiah’s vision of The Lord, High and lifted up) or from a scene of The Throne in the Revelation. Soak in that image. . . . The coming of The Son, which we remember particularly at Christmas, involved His laying aside His life in Heaven in order to benefit men and women, who He made His friends. Greater love has no one than this. That is His love for us, for me and for you.
Jesus, please cause us to think on You, allow us to experience again Your great love, and renew our wonder.
Not for our sake, but for Your glory.
Thank You Jesus.