Wonder..... ....as Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close, we move towards the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!" For some of us, it IS the most wonderful time of the year.
However, for many it may be the Most Difficult Time of the Year.....I am sorry if you are hurting and that this time of year is hard.....let's take a peek at how we might make it wonder- for you this year!!!
Wonder is the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising, a feeling of surprise or puzzled interest, or sometimes tinged with admiration. Wonder may be a miraculous deed or event - a remarkable phenomenon. Wonder can be thinking or speculating curiously about something or someone. For example, to wonder about the origin of the solar system. That's true wonder!!! Or, to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe - to marvel at something so phenomenal that we can hardly believe it has happened!
Our Crossroads Church here in Cincinnati, just started a series called: Rediscover the Wonder and today's message was Wonder- !!! Chuck talked about finding something this season that is meaningful or transcendent. What would that be for you? Would it be going outside of your comfort zone and donating to a great cause? Would it be delivering meals to shut in elderly people? Would it be offering a family member forgiveness when you haven't talked for over a year? Would it be inviting someone to Christmas who has no family?
Many churches and organizations around the country had a Thanksgiving Drive or project to feed families who were not able to get all the trimmings or "" for a Turkey Dinner. Did your church do something like that? Crossroads Cincinnati did - they gathered 115,000 boxes and delivered them to families in need this year just in Cincinnati - that is pretty remarkable to me!!! WOW! What a blessing that was for those families receiving that gift! And, guess what? For those of us who participated it was a blessing for us to give....
Next, we move to the Angel Tree project. Many organizations and/or families participate in this project so that children of parents who cannot provide a gift for Christmas get a gift. Maybe because their parents are incarcerated or some other situation where their kids will not have a gift for Christmas. So, we step up to the plate and provide PJ's, sweat pants, dress pants, outfits, wonder- in others! If we can give so that others can receive, isn't that what Christmas is all about anyway?, PS4 games, etc. etc. so that these kids can have one gift to open. It is quite a project to undertake in some ways, and yet, so
Chuck also suggested that we "disrupt our lives for God" this year. What would you be willing to give or give up to pursue God? What would you do to pursue a more meaningful holiday season? What would you do to pursue a relationship with Christ? What would you be willing to say "Yes" to for the sake of making someone else's Christmas happy? Who would you be willing to share love, joy and peace with this year?
I loved Chuck's suggestion: Would you take 2 hours and $10 to do something of value for Christ? It could be buying a cup of coffee for that person or old friend in your life you have been meaning to spend time with........maybe they lost a loved one, or their job, or their house.....would you be willing to make this season special, meaningful or wonder- for them? Maybe YOU need that 2 hours to relax and regroup! Would you be willing to be kind to yourself and take some time to find some peace amongst the chaos of the season? Check out his sermon at Crossroads.net.
Awe and wonder..........they are gifts of the season if only we have the eyes to see it - if only we are willing to rediscover it!!! Remember the longing you had when you were a kid? The anticipation of Christmas morning? What treasures are you hoping for this year other than a material gift? Maybe it's slowing down and enjoying the wonder of the season! Maybe it's grace or forgiveness with someone you have been estranged with. Maybe it is visiting that neighbor that had to move into a nursing home this year. Maybe it's the kid or parent across the street that never seems to get a break. Maybe it is connecting with a group of people you have lost touch with and long to see again....pick up the phone! Write out a text or email or perhaps a REAL hand-written note! Connect with other people this season and see if the wonder doesn't shine through!!!
Wonder...........The Wise Men followed the star - they were in awe of the coming of the Christ Child. Some say it took them 45 days to get to Bethlehem, some say 3 years! What star will you follow this year? Would you be willing to follow it until you found the Babe lying in the manger?
"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Child is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders.
And, He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
My prayer for you is this: That you find the Babe lying in the manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes....that you find love so rich and rare that it makes your heart sing! That you sing Joy to the World and really mean it!!! That you make peace with those you need to and find peace on earth, goodwill toward men in your little corner of the world!!! That you stop and feel the wonder of what God has done for us. That you look for the incredible, remarkable, phenomenal, spectacular, meaningful, transcendent and WONDER-FULL sights and sounds of this miraculous season!!!
Blessings abound as we choose to make it the Most Wonder- time of the year. Choose to see and experience the wonder and awe. Every day.