Walkin’ in a Winter WONDER-land

Dec 2, 2023

Oh, the WONDER of Christmas!

It’s the time of the year when we think about and celebrate that once-in-eternity moment when the little town of Bethlehem became the birthplace of HOPE. When the invisible GOD became flesh—GOD Incarnate. Each element of the story adds to the wonder: the sparkling star in the night sky, the rough manger in the sheep fields, the willingness of the young virgin mother, the startled shepherds, the centuries of silence broken by an angel’s voice and a baby’s cry—a Baby like none other. Emmanuel—GOD with us.

We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, but the fact is: Jesus WAS born. And just like God commanded Israel to remember, rehearse, and relive the story of the Passover every year,* so also do we recall the beautiful story of the Christ Child’s birth. It’s real, it’s true, and the sheer wonder of it is worth remembering. It’s been said that Christmas is “the season that fills our hearts with the wonder that ANYTHING is possible.” Truly, it’s just as the angel said to Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37 KJV)

It’s no wonder that every year we get all caught up in the heartwarming WONDER of Christmas!

But, while we sing “It’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year! … the happ-happiest season of all!” … there are those among us for whom it’s the most difficult. The loneliest time, when memories flood their broken hearts and sting like saltwater in an open wound. That’s the thing—Christmas IS memories.

The Christmas season is the time that fills their hearts with WONDERING …

… why do they feel like crying when everyone else is celebrating?
… how much longer they can endure the pain, the loneliness, the cold, the achy feeling of loss?
… how, if they barely have enough to pay the bills, will they ever be able to afford to buy Christmas presents?
… what will Christmas even look like? or the day after? or the new year … and beyond?
… why, while everybody else is so full of anticipation, do THEY feel so HOPELESS?

It’s the season of “WONDER,” all right.

How about YOU? Do you feel like the cold, dark death of winter has frozen your joy and hardened your heart? Do you find yourself in the middle of a crowd and yet it seems like everybody is looking the other way? Do you feel insignificant—invisible—that nobody knows what you’re going through or cares anything about the hole in your soul?
Let me tell you, Jesus sees you—but more than that, He knows YOUR need. He wants to make His face shine on you and give you peace—to make YOU feel like He came just for YOU. When Jesus saw the multitude, He saw more than a crowd; He was moved with compassion for each individual. Yes, even now, He sees YOU. You are in His one-on-one vision. Eyeball to eyeball. He sees you—He knows you—and He cares. About YOU. The END of your wondering and hurt and loneliness has a name—and it’s JESUS. He ALONE is the Giver … AND the GIFT! He who was the Holy Child has come to restore your child-like WONDER!

So, if YOU’re the one who is “walkin’ in the winter WONDER-land”—confused and alone and wondering where to turn—turn to Jesus. Bring to Him your brokenness like pieces of myrrh, your precious tears like gold, and your praise like fragrant frankincense. Turn to the One who IS the reason for the season. The ONE who was called, and IS … WONDERFUL!
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)

Prayer: Dear LORD, “Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders …”
(Psalms 77:14,11 KJV)

* Exodus 12:24-27

PC: Mike White