The wonder of Christmas

This is now our third Christmas while having kids in college. And, boy, is it good to have them home for their Christmas break. But it is interesting to see how Christmas Day at our house has changed over the years. 

When the kids were little, they would barge into our room, far earlier than we would like, and coax us out of bed and into the living room where the presents awaited. Now that the kids are older, we barge into their rooms, far earlier than they would like, and we coax them out of their beds into the living room. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about, don’t you? 

I’ve heard it said that Christmas Day is at its best when the kids are little. Why? Because kids are so full of wonder. They embrace dreams and possibilities and the things that transcend human reasoning. They believe! And they have not yet been tainted by adult cynicism, pessimism, and pragmatism. 

So, it is no wonder that we build so much of our Christmas celebration around children. There is something within each one of us that longs to recover that sense of wonder that comes so easily for them. That is why so many of us live vicariously through children and grandchildren at Christmas.  We totally relate to the song by Gloria Estefan that says, “I wanna see Christmas through your eyes.‘

I believe that this childlike impulse is actually God-given, and that it is meant to lead us toward God Himself. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3–4, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. [4] Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)‘ We are meant to embrace the childlike wonder of Christmas.

So, as hardened adults, how can we attain this? How can we recover the wonder and faith of a child, especially in a world that has so hardened us with sin? A man in the New Testament named Nicodemus asked the same question. And Jesus answered him by saying in John 3:3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.‘ (ESV) 

How does one recover the wonder of a child that is able to exercise childlike faith in God? We become born again, a new creation in Jesus Christ. We acknowledge our hardened heart of sin that separates us from God, and which condemns us to God’s righteous judgment. And in humility, we turn away from that sin and by faith trust in the work of new birth that Jesus alone can bring. All of which results in the supernatural experience of being born again.

This Christmas, will you make room for wonder? Of all the wonders of Christmas, the greatest wonder of them all is that God loves you and sent His Son Jesus to rescue you from sin and judgment. Would you turn to Him as a little child today?