The wonder of being in the presence of our Savior
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:15-19
A century ago, Gilbert Keith Chesterton wrote, “The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.” With the advancement in technology, we have space ships, the Internet, microchips, modern medicine—all wonders—that even our grandparents could not have foreseen; yet we have become a generation characterized not by awe, but by cynicism and sarcasm. There seemed to be a prevailing attitude that our sense of wonder is gone. This attitude appeared to be obvious during Christmas. We become too stressed, too much of a scrooge, more concerned about counting dollars and counting calories and miss the awe and wonder of Christmas. If we are not careful we will reduce Christmas to little more than an elaborate tale. Couple this with the pressure in our society in an effort to be politically correct we will write Jesus out of the story. We will secularize the holy day to the point that someone who has never heard of Christ or Christmas could not get the message even if they tried. Pretty soon all people will say what too many people are saying now, “It doesn’t seem like Christmas.” Why does it not seem like Christmas? Is it because of too much commercialism, the obligations, and the adult responsibilities? Is it because the newness and freshness of Christ’s birth has worn off? Is it because there is no more sense of awe to the fact that God became flesh and dwelt among us? Is it because the light has dimmed and the music has faded? From our text, when the shepherds had seen the birth of Jesus and confirmed the fulfillment of the awaited prophecy, cannot helped themselves but shared their experience to others. “All who heard it wondered...but Mary treasured all these things” (Luke 2:18-19). Look at Christmas again, as though you are seeing it for the first time. See the lights and the decorations anew. Hear the music, the sounds, and the carols afresh. Tell the story of Jesus’ magnificent birth like it is the first time you have told it. Let this Christmas rekindle your wonder. When the shepherds were filled with wonder after they were brought to the presence of the Messiah, they glorified and praised God (Luke 2:20).