“…And Wonders of His Love”
Well, Advent has come to its fullness, and Christmas day has arrived (and as I type, is nearing its end). There is always a bittersweetness to this moment as I return from my grandparents and the festivities that we so enjoy. While my day is filled with joy as I celebrate among my families, the closing of the advent season brings with it a return to the everyday, and the anticipation that has been building for weeks is now quieted.
The nature of all things finite is that there comes a moment when they come and go. The bittersweetness is inevitable. That said, the final verses of Luke’s Gospel introduce a response to Jesus’ birth that stand in contrast to moments like this. As the Shepherds return and celebrate, we are told that all who hear them “wonder.” At the beginning of our time together we stated that wonder is this two-pronged feeling that combines the excitement we feel as we see our hopes and longings about to come to their realization with the surprise and mystery of getting a glimpse of a fulfillment that we did not expect and cannot fully process. In this moment we have no response but to excitedly, yet quietly dwell on what has happened, and marvel at the mystery of it all. It leaves us bewildered, and yet ready for more.
I hope that these devotionals have helped bring about some of that wonder as you re-read the nativity accounts and were reminded of their beauty, but if wonder was truly awakened, the amazing reality is that it doesn’t stop here. You are hungry for more, and there is infinitely more to explore and ponder. You have seen the mysterious goodness of God, and you are ready to know him further. I hope the year to come is marked by that endeavor. May you wonder as you wander.
Thank you all for studying the nativity with me this year. I hope you enjoyed reading these devotionals as much as I did writing them!