It sits under the tree, beautiful, unopened, new. A gift holds wonder and hope of good things wrapped up inside. The familiar scent of pine triggers memories of Christmas's past. The photos remind us of how time marches on as children grow from year to year. Rolls of gift wrap lean against the wall, all silvery and red and white.
Gingerbread cookies with Red Hots buttons and pink frosting smiles sit on the counter. Carols play endlessly as we go the extra mile to create an ambiance of the season with soft slippers, fires lit in the fire place and a warm cup of something.
There have been concerts and parades and parties; too many cookies and maybe a few extra pounds.
Christmas cards have been mailed. Anticipation mounts at the thought of gathering with loved ones and the joy on faces as gifts are opened. It all really is magical.
And then, there.
Beautifully displayed, but perhaps easily forgotten, waits the Nativity.
Wonder is the thought that the God of the universe went to great lengths to make a way that I can know Him. And so you can know Him. And truly, I am in awe ... when I slow enough to acknowledge it. That a King left splendor to be born in the most unlikely of places - a barn in Bethlehem. The wonder of Christmas is Emmanuel. God is with us. Love came down to meet us. Here. Where we are. This is the Gift that has been prepared for us since creation.
"Wonder and worship can only grow out of smallness ... When I stand before immensity that heightens my smallness, I have never felt sadness. Only burgeoning wonder. - Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
So, as we enjoy the glitter and twinkle and celebration, let's slow in the next few days to marvel at the greatest gift of Christmas. Let's not let this Christmas pass without preaching the gospel to ourselves - just listen to the words of the carols we sing:
O Come, Emmanuel
Joy to the World
O Holy Night
The First Noel
Let's let the true Gift of Christmas cause us to wonder and worship. O come let us adore Him.
Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas.