I’ve been reading James Montgomery Boice’s book, “The Christ of Christmas.” The closing chapter is entitled “How to Celebrate Christmas,” and in the next couple of blogs, I thought I’d share an excerpt from the chapter on 4 ways to celebrate Christmas. Enjoy!
One way you and I can celebrate Christmas is to be amazed at it. That is suggested in Luke 2:18 – “And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
There are two kinds of amazement, of course, and to be perfectly fair we must admit that at the beginning. One kind of amazement is merely a tickling of the fancy. It is what we call a seven-day wonder; that is, a temporary fascination with something unusual After such a wonder ha run its course nobody gives the cause of it a second thought, and rightly so. The other kind of amazement is quite different. It is a holy amazement, which is a proper wonder at those acts of God that are beyond human comprehension. It borders on adoration if, indeed, it is not identical to it. In cone sense all the acts of God are legitimate grounds of such amazement. If we turn back to the earliest chapters of Genesis, we discover a description of the globe before God fashioned it into the kind of world we know and are told that in that period the Spirit of God has hovering over the waters. What a cause for wonder that is! Then out of the darkness God spoke to call forth life and order. We turn from that picture to the final pages of the Bible, and in those pages we find the Lord Jesus Christ high and lifted up and all created orders praying homage to Him. That is a cause for wonder. From beginning to end God’s dealings with our race are a cause for amazement. But of all those dealings, that which should evoke our greatest amazement is the incarnation of the Son of God, which we mark especially at Christmas. God become man! The deity in human flesh! How can that be? We cannot understand it; but it is true nevertheless, and we marvel at it. Or at least we should marvel at it.
Do you want to celebrate Christmas? Then be amazed at it. Allow it to stretch your mind.
I believe that is why the wonder of children seems so appropriate at Christmas-time. It is not that their wonder is all a Christian wonder, of course. They are not all thinking of God or Jesus as they stand spellbound at the presents and tree on Christmas morning. Or at least that is not the whole of their wonder. But their wonder is not inappropriate, for at the very least it is an analogy of what our wonder should be if we are those who (at least in part) understand the Christmas story.
So let the learning be two ways. Children must learn who Jesus is and what Christmas is all about from us. They must learn to love Him and serve Him more and more acceptably. But let us also learn from them and so recapture our own sense of amazement at the incarnation.