Christmas Wonder

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I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heav’n for to sing,
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King. (John Jacob Niles)

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Growing up, when I started a conversation with “I wonder…” Mom told me to be careful because if I ‘wondered’ too far I’d get lost.

Maybe getting lost in a little wonder wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Who couldn’t benefit from adding wonder, curiosity and amazement to their life?

It makes me sad that there is so little true wonder. Sure, we wonder where we put things, and how we’ll pay the bills. We wonder about the future…but it’s more like fear.

Listen to the conversations around us: everything is “amazing” or “awesome.” But is it really?

What makes you go “WOW!” Clear down to your toes?
What takes your breath away?
What causes you to shake your head when you try to make sense of it?

The Christmas story does that for me.

After 400 years of silence, of wondering where God was, he burst onto the scene in the most amazing and unexpected way.

A baby, a manger, a carpenter, a teenage girl in a small town.

Go figure.

Go wonder.

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Rebuilding With Nehemiah, Chapter 9 Day 4

Thursday: No One Like Our God

Text: 6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. (Neh. 1:6)

Teach: When Moses gave the people God’s commandments, he began by telling them to acknowledge that there were no other gods before the LORD. He is the creator, the one who breathed life into everything. As a young teen I learned this truth. We would sing a chorus that said, “There is enough of God in nature, His power is clearly shown. A man has no excuse for wondering. God and heaven are known (see Romans 1:20).”

Take: When I sit out under a clear sky and see the multitude of stars above, I can’t help but think of God speaking to Abraham or David penning Psalm 8. And I want to break into a chorus or two of “How Great Thou Art.”

This verse in Nehemiah speaks to me of perspective: how great God is and how small, or insignificant, I am. And yet he loves me. He loves us. It really is amazing.

Task: We will have God’s perspective when we are aware of our position in relation to him. Psalm 8 tells us that God’s majesty fills the earth, but that he made us to care for his creation. There is trust and relationship implied throughout his Word. Pray through Psalm 8.

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?[c]
5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Job 37:14

In a few weeks I will participating in a parachurch weekend (similar to Walk to Emmaus).  It is such a blessing to serve on the team.  Sometimes I wonder who receives more team or participants.  But I don’t worry too much, I just soak it all in. 

Our theme for the upcoming weekend is Job 37:14.  I have been working on something that I want to offer for palanka.  I thought I’d share it here because the truth applies to wherever we are in our journey and whoever is right there with us.

Stop! It’s a word that I find myself often using with my grandson. Stop talking. Stop cutting. Stop. Stop. Stop. And the most frustrating thing about that is that if he would stop when I told him to, it would save him—and me—so much grief, or clean up, or apology. But even at just 6yrs of age, he thinks he knows more than me. To say that he’s willful barely touches the depths of his strong character. But what good is that kind of strength if there’s no willingness to trust one who is older, wiser, and more experienced?

Do you ever wonder if God ever feels that way with us?

 

Consider. Think about it. Marvel at it. Ponder it. Reflect on it. Look deeply. See what’s there. Take it apart. Touch it. Taste it. Ask questions about it. Desire to know it inside and out, upside and down. Imagine the infiniteness.

 

Do you think God ever wishes we would consider Him that way?

 

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The wonders of God.

The miracles of God.

The amazing things in creation.

The mind-boggling things we have no explanations for.

The delicate and fragile.

The strong and enduring.

Powerful natural moments bringing beauty and disaster.

Tragic accidents that result in devestating loss and incredible unity.

Feats of athleticism and artistic creativity.

Simple and complex.

Unfathomable and unexplanable.

Beginnings and endings.

Love. Joy. Peace. Grace.

Wonder-full gifts from wonder-full Father.

 

And here’s the most incredible thing of all. Since the beginning of time he has been working in the lives of thousands of people to prepare this weekend just for you. You are here by His design. You were meant to be here right now, with these people, in this place. And they were meant to be here with you. There will be no other perfect time for God to give you the gifts of grace like this moment.

 

Stop and consider that!