The Night of Wonder

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WONDER – Something that arouses awe, astonishment, surprise, or amazement; inexplicable by the laws of nature.

A little under 2,000 years ago, something incredible, amazing, and beautiful happened.  In the midst of great sorrow, defeat, and shame, a 700 year old prophecy was fulfilled.  “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah…from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2).  But the people of Israel who had been crying out for 400 years didn’t get what they expected.                

This promised Messiah didn’t force His way and restore the glory of Jerusalem.  No palace. No army. No treasures. No servants. No glamour.  Just a simple, poor family, finding refuge in a stable.  In the midst of chaos, darkness, and poverty, God brought the very salvation of mankind!

Among the first to know were the Jewish scribes who even quoted the ancient scripture. One of 700 Messianic prophecies, the very Promise of Israel, had arrived.  And they did nothing. They were unwilling to change or respond, though their King lay a mere 5 ½ miles away.  They couldn’t be bothered.  They didn’t want to give up position or control.

It’s what happens when we let the things of God become mundane, ordinary, and take Him and His Presence for granted.  We lose that amazement, awe, and excitement…the WONDER.

 

But the Magi.  They were full of WONDER.

Descartes describes WONDER as the primary emotion, a reaction to the unexpected.  Astonishment.
Thomas Hobbes relates WONDER to Joy: “… whatever new things happen to a man, gives him hope and knowledge of things he didn’t know before.”

WONDER is what caused…
…the wise men to seek Him…the shepherds to run in from the field…Joseph to stay with Mary, his pregnant fiancé.
…the fisherman to leave their families…the crowds to follow Him…Bartimaeus to cry out…Zaccheus to climb…the woman with the hemorrhage to reach out…Peter to walk on water…Saul to leave his religion…the disciples to lay down their lives…in the middle of political and spiritual bondage, it’s what caused millions to find freedom.

The WONDER of His Incarnation, life, sacrifice, death, and resurrection:
It attracts us, gets our attention, shakes us out of complacency, wakes us up,  reminds us of His promises.
We won’t get all the answers but we can have Him.  He satisfies all the questions because He’s the answer.

We can’t explain it but we don’t have to…He’s God
His ways and thoughts are above ours.
He’s bigger than what we can conceive or perceive.
He comprehends when we’re confounded.
He heals when we’re broken.
He gives when we have nothing.
He fills when we’re empty.
He gives sight when we’re blind.
He finds us when we’re lost.
He can, when we can’t.
No more distance or barriers.
The King is a Child.
He is Immanuel—God Himself is with us!

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