Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Week Three: Wonder and Discovery

christmas_discoveryLike in the photo, we tend to think of Christmas as a time of wonder and discovery for little children who have not yet been gilded by the Santa debates, or the controversy between “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays,” or too many toy commercials running between Halloween and New Year’s Day.

Why shouldn’t Christmas be a time of wonder and discovery for adults too? There isn’t any real reason for Christmas wonder and discovery to be reserved for the very young. But it is true, however, that adults have a few obstacles to wonder and discovery that children have not yet succumbed.

Some of those obstacles have to do with knowing too much – or thinking we know everything there is to know about Christmas, stress from trying to do too much to create wonder for others, allowing the commercial aspects to fester into cynicism about the meanings of Christmas, and over-sophistication of our expectations.

In the photo my granddaughter was surrounded by toys and books but she was mesmerized at trying to figure out this silver box everybody was taking turns looking into. What were they looking for; Santa or Baby Jesus? It didn’t seem scary or dangerous, and everybody who looked through it was smiling and happy. As adults we see a highly technical piece of equipment but to her it was a magic box that brought joy to those who looked through it.

What are we looking at during the Christmas season and how do we define it? Do we see the stack of promotional toys at the store, or the excited discovery when it’s unwrapped? Do we see the factory cranking out artificial trees, or the glow of wonder when the lights are clicked on that first night? Do we see in the nativity scene a contentious debate about where it belongs, or the wonder that a young couple by faith set out to discover what roles they would play in God’s great plan?

What do you see this Christmas? Are you looking for wonder and discovery; and where do you hope to find it?

First Week of Christmas: Light
Christmas Week Two: Joy
Christmas Week Three: Wonder and Discovery
Christmas Week Four: Hope

1 comment:

chelle said...

I like sharing it with my kids. I get all the wonder and hope through their eyes!