WONDER: Living with Advent Expectation…

Waiting for Santa
Come on, be honest… Are you as excited about Christmas as this pajama-clad tot?

Waiting with baited breath, eyes focused upward, refusing any distraction from the real, remarkable reason for the season?

Yeah, me either. How I wish!

Advent is in full swing. The official season of hope, expectation and longing realized ~ culminating in the birth of the Messiah in a manger. It’s the greatest story ever told, and yet I find myself entering the season with less than appropriate aplomb, with an attitude of endurance rather than praise.

I don’t want to experience this Christmas as just another holiday.

Here today, and gone tomorrow. Decorations up, decorations down. On to the New Year.

Can you relate?

It’s not that I’m ungrateful. It’s just easy to let phrases like “Joy to the World” become routine and devoid of real meaning. I get bogged down in the everyday-ness of everyday and I loose sight of the spectacular-ness of the most spectacular story of all. (Sorry Santa!)

I’d love to be that little babe sitting smack-dab in the fireplace for Santa (i.e. the long-awaited Christ) to bust into our world with a real message of hope.

One that’s worth waiting up to hear the faint sound of its hooves on the roof.

And yet I wonder… Have I lost all the WONDER of the most wonderful season of all?

Never lose your sense of wonder

“As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with WONDER and ran to greet Him” (Mark 9:15).

According to the dictionary, wonder is…

the feeling of surprise mingled with admiration,

caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable.

I don’t even remember the last time I felt that.

If I’m honest, my “living with expectation” meter needs some serious juice.

In a recent article in Christianity Today, guest writer Margaret Philbrick questioned:

“What would it take for me to walk out this Advent season of preparation in a state of UNENCUMBERED WONDER?”

Wow.

Unencumbered Wonder.

She answers the question with lots of heart and hope in her article, “Have a WONDER-full Christmas Season.” Well worth the read.

As an aunt, my darling nieces and nephews remind me what it really means to wonder.

Wonder seems built into the child gene.

When was the last time you pondered Him in wonder?

Look up in wonder

Why does an accumulation of years tend to diminish wonder’s sparkle?

Could it be because we’re not looking for it?

I love the way Rick Warren addresses this in his message, “What Will You Find at Christmas?” in a wonderful book of collected Christmas stories, “On This Holy Night: The Heart of Christmas.”

On This Holy Night

He says,

“At the very first Christmas, many people missed it because they were too busy looking for other things.

The only people who enjoyed the very first Christmas, nearly two thousand years ago, were the people who were looking for it.

The shepherds found Jesus because they were searching. They were seeking Him.

Now let me ask you: What are you going to find this Christmas?

I’ll tell you what you’re going to find:

You’ll find what you’re looking for.”

Warren continues…

“God came to earth in human form, and He is seeking you while you’re seeking Him. 

What better time than at Christmas to make contact?”

So I ask you… What will you find this Christmas?

If it’s the stress of last-minute Christmas shopping in the living chaos of Galleria traffic, it’s there for the taking.

If it’s dreading the “family-time” you feel compelled to enjoy, it will be there, too. {Not all families fall into this category, but a good many do}.

Merely seeking the peace of Dec. 26? You’ll eventually find it.

To recapture the wonder, you’ve got to go on the hunt.

I invite you to join me in recapturing the wonder this Christmas.

{Seek, and you will find ~ Matthew 7:7}

Thankfully, the odds are in our favor.

Claire Signature

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