Wonder of Christmas

Wonder is one of the wildest elements and qualities
on the massive scale of human experience.
Just a pinch of it stops time.
The world halts. The eyes fill.
You become for a small time, everything you truly are.

Victoria Erickson, Edge of Wonder

We are deep into the season of wonder. Children are excited to unwrap packages, to gather with extended family, and to suspend the usual daily rituals for the year’s biggest festival. Grownups remember the magic of our childhood Christmases and seek to re-enact some of the awe and wonder for those we love. College students come home seeming more mature than we remembered just a few months ago, and young adult family and friends are finding their own ways to decorate and celebrate and enjoy this special time of the year. Christmas invites us both to remember the joys of yesteryear and to look ahead with great expectation and hope that God is doing some new thing in this old weary world of ours.

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church is abuzz with wonder. Yesterday morning the wonderful team of volunteers who decorate for Christmas were transforming the Sanctuary into a space of extraordinary beauty before Sunday morning, the fourth Sunday in Advent. By late afternoon, one hundred (yes, 100!) children were going through their final rehearsal for the Nativity Tableau for the 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve worship service. This morning while Jeff Brillhart was practicing for the 8:30 and 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve services, Mary Steege and I were setting the Communion Table with candles for tonight’s Longest Night contemplative service, and today’s front desk volunteer was also coordinating the candlelight labyrinth on the lawn as an addition for this year’s Longest Night. Ushers have been recruited, countless candles have been pressed into their holders to pass the light during the singing of Silent Night, bulletins are printed, and we are ready to bask in the joy of wonder.   

Just a pinch of it stops time. The world halts. The eyes fill. You become for a small time, everything you truly are. Made in the image of God is who we are, and how we know for sure is because of the birth of Jesus. The most hopeful and joyful wonder of all. Merry Christmas everyone!