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Honiton Evangelical Congregational Church December

Dear Friends,

The Wonder of Christmas

I think that many people envy children – Christmas for them seems magical and they don’t seem to have been touched as yet by the sad events, disappointments and regrets that many of us feel about our lives. Even Christmas and the celebrations we share can simply emphasize for us those who may no longer be there. Sometimes this is because of bereavement and sometimes because of rifts within families, which can be even more painful.

Sadly, despite what the avalanche of sentimental Christmas films communicate, getting together, and the appearance of a bit of snow, doesn’t solve many personal problems. I would want, however, to say that a particular sense of wonder should be reserved for the Christmas season because of the truths associated with it. Christians, by custom, think of particular truths at particular times of the years and find it helpful to focus on the truth of the incarnation at Christmas. A newer hymn sums the wonder of this truth very movingly by asking a question:


What kind of greatness can this be,

that chose to be made small,

exchanging untold majesty

for a world so pitiful?

That God should come as one of us

I’ll never understand-

the more I hear the story told,

the more amazed I am.

Did God not assure us that it is true that we would never be able to dream up the idea that the eternal, glorious, all-powerful God the Son would become one of us = a real human being with all the attributes of dependence and weakness that human beings have. His plan to save us is completely generous and kind, the only thing he responds to in us is our guilt and misery – our undeserving rather than our deserving! Yes it is AWESOME – the word ‘awesome’ is often used just to mean great but it actually means something which produces reverent fear and wonder within us and the truth of the incarnation is surely such a truth. The response that should surely follow:

                          Oh, what else can I do

                          but kneel and worship You,

                          and come just as I am,

                          my whole life an offering.

If we have lost that sense of wonder and grateful joy in our response may God stir it up in us again, or, if we never have felt it, then may he produce it in us for the first time.

Yours in the Lord, Mike