Peering out of the window from the back seat of my parent’s car, I looked with wonder at the Christmas lights that glimmered and glowed in an array of colors. It was a tradition for my family when I was little to drive around town a day or two before Christmas to look at the lights. With each house that we passed, I became more and more eager for that magical day to arrive. As a child, my parents let my sister and I have a strand of colored lights around our bedroom window and on Christmas Eve, I would lay in bed and stare at the red, green and blue lights, too excited to sleep. My sister, brother and I would often sneak out of bed and down the hall to the living room to get a glimpse of our tree that shimmered with those special lights and to see if Santa had come yet.
The online dictionary defines “wonder” as a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. As a verb, it means to desire or be curious to know something. This sums up Christmas for me not only as a child but even now as an adult. As a child, I looked with wonder at the lights, the decorations, the gifts, the coziness of all things Christmas, but as an adult, I look with wonder upon a different light; the Light of the World. When I was young I was looking for Christmas but not really seeing Christmas. As a child, I was looking to catch a glimpse of Santa as he placed the gifts under the lighted tree, but as an adult, I seek to catch a glimpse of the one who placed a more precious gift beneath a star. Andrew Lazo once said, “if we will really see instead of simply look, we might catch a glimpse of the Light of the World, dawning upon us all in the season.” This Christmas season, instead of looking at the lights with wonder and admiration, why not try and really see Christmas with a desire to know more about this beautiful and amazing Light of the World? Isaiah 9:2 says “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” This Christmas season, look with eyes to see the light that has dawned; the Light that brings life – Jesus.
So much of the Christmas season is spent rushing around, finding that perfect gift, decorating our space the best we can, baking all of those yummy sweets, and the list goes on, but in the rush for these things are we really “seeing” Christmas? One thing that I like to do now as an adult at Christmas (as well as many times throughout the year) is to step outside on a clear night and behold the night sky in all of its glory. Look with wonder at God’s creation of lights; His display of “Christmas decorations.” As I gaze upon His splendor, I cannot help but think about the miracle of the birth of Jesus and how amazing it is and yet it, like this expanse of night sky, still holds so much mystery. Accepting the fact of Jesus’ birth into our little earthly sphere involves believing concepts outside of our comprehension. It’s hard. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, asked the question “how can this be . . .” as did Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Though they wondered at the “how,” they both accepted and believed in faith. As we look with wonder to really see Christmas for what it truly is, we, like Mary and Zechariah may ask “how can this be?” The answer is, that we may not fully grasp this miracle; the birth of Jesus, until the day that we see, for ourselves, the one whom we marvel at and celebrate at Christmas. Until then, we can look at Christmas with the wonderment of a child, eager for that special day to arrive, but also really see Christmas with the heart of an adult, full of the hope that the birth of Jesus brings. The true Light of the World! Merry Christmas!