The Wonder of Christmas--Love

The Wonder of Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings


What are the moments in your life that have filled you with a sense of wonder?
I can think of a few moments in my life:
I remember the sense of awe and wonder I felt at the birth of each of my two daughters. And the sense of how in the world can I do this father thing . :)
I remember when I was on my semester abroad in Israel staring over the Cliff into the mock test ramone erosion crater a gigantic 2000 foot deep crater in the earth in Israel. I was amazed at the sheer size and scope of what I saw. I was filled with wonder!
I remember walking down Main Street Disneyland. Seeing the Iconic castle for the first time just blew me away. It truly was a fascinating place full of entertainment and history.
Wonder and awe
wonder is when we are struck at the scope and size of what we are encountering we are amazed by what is happening.
I remember my wedding day nervous but also filled with wonder at how blessed and lucky I was.
The reality is we can be struck with wonder right where we are if we only pay attention. Just marvel at the complexity of the human body and the potential we have. Just listen to your children or your grandchildren and be in awe of what God can and will do in their lives. Think for a moment how blessed you are to be born in this amazing country when you could just as easily been born to a poor family in sub-Saharan Africa or I Hindu family in the slums of Bombay India or a strict Muslim family in the heart of Iran. Instead, wonder at the beauty and blessing that God gave each and every one of us in this room to have been born in a place where we could encounter our faith in God and live with such blessings!
I want us over the next five weeks including today to take time to see the wonder of Christmas. Because the story of Christmas should be something that strikes you and I with wonder. But the problem is it's quite easy to miss they all inspiring wonder and to just go about our business every day and not realize how wonderful our lives really are. I've traveled overseas one time and that was my semester in Israel on the way home I had the chance to layover 8 hours in Paris it was a blur as I tried to navigate French subways so that I could see the Eiffel Tower. Mind you I didn't get anywhere close to it because I had no time to do anything but see the tower and eat a pastry but I was in all of the wonderful experience of being there. And yet all around Parisians just went about the business living their lives in the shadow of this iconic tower. They many of them probably just take it for granted as part of the scenery. And yet I was struck at how lucky I was to get to see it for a moment.
I hope that over the next 5 weeks we can each find time to slow down and be in awe of what God has done.
I imagine many of you have seen this image over the last month of this sweet little lady soaking in the moment of what is going on while everyone is glued to capturing that moment on their phones. Perhaps this can be our anthem this Christmas. Perhaps it could be our goal to slow down and experience the wonder of Christmas and not just capture it on our phones or see it in movies but to just be present and soak in how amazing it is that God gave us his son.
To do this, over the next five weeks, we will be exploring different words that describe the wonder of what God has done for us in the Christmas story.


It's been said that curiosity killed the cat but curiosity also is that which enables us to experience the wonder of Christmas and new ways. You may have heard this story your entire life but perhaps as you look through the Christmas story with an attitude of curiosity you will capture a bit of the wonder that was there at the beginning. Let's read through this account in Luke chapter two.
Luke 2:1–14 ESV
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Have you ever wondered about some of the things the actress in our video wondered about? Have you wondered how Mary would have told her parents? Have you questioned how she felt? Do you think she felt fear when God told her not to be afraid?
One of the things I love about the Christmas story is how we can relate to the characters. The characters in the story ask questions and reflect on some of the same weaknesses that we do. And as we see Mary react to God's messenger, we can understand how we relate to God.
One of the beautiful things about Christmas is that it's a story of God making the first move to oz. It's a story of God refusing to wait for us to get good enough for him, but he came to us. He came to save us. He loved us first.
Several times over the last week, my daughters have been caught up in the craziness of family time with cousins all around, and I've challenged one or the other to go out of their way to be kind to their sister. Often the conversation goes like this: well, she's not being kind to me! To which I respond you are responsible for yourself. It doesn't always go over well.
The wonder of Christmas is that God loved us first. He came to us before we were nice to him.
1 John 4:19 ESV
19 We love because he first loved us.
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
The love of God so compelled him to be the one that moved towards us! And the prophecies about Jesus coming to describe him as Emmanuel mean God with us. So God, in his love, chose to use Mary as the mother of Jesus, possibly because he knew God could trust her with that mission. Possibly because of the way that Mary loved God with all she had. she was called highly favored when the Angel Gabriel showed up on the scene. And it's used chosen by a God who loved her and loved his people. She was selected by a God who loves us.
How much do you think about the reality that God loves each and everyone of you? When we say that God loves humanity one of the parts of demonstrating that love is communication. Breakdowns in families are reflected in a lack of communication. When family members don't talk that means there isn't a close love between family members there's division.
God wants to communicate with us he wants to know us. Throughout the Bible God calls us to know him.
This next verse has been called God's phone number JER333
Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
The same God who loves us enough to send his son to earth to save us wants us to communicate to talk with him everyday to know him. When we feel worried about the future uncertain about who we are or what we can do he wants us to talk with him. When we lie awake in bed stressed about the problems of our life he wants us to talk with him. Part of the wonder of Christmas is the reality that God is there in the small moments of life and the big ones wanting to hear us reach out to him.
Matthew 7:7–11 ESV
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Don't you love this passage? Coming up on Christmas we love giving gifts to our children. We love seeing the joy light up their face as they open up a present they've wanted for quite a while. Yesterday my house was full of cousins and nephews laughing and giggling. I loved seeing my daughters play and hang around and I loved getting to spend time with my many many nieces and one nephew. If a good father loves to give good gifts to his children how much more will our heavenly father respond to our prayers?
What about over in the proverbs of the New Testament the book of James. He reminded us yet again of how much God desires to be close to us.
James 4:8 ESV
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


Drawing near is a demonstration of trust. Sometimes it's hard for us to trust. Sometimes we feel like God has let us down in the past period sometimes we know people have let us down. But this Christmas I want to invite you to trust God. To let him in , to let him close.
think about the relationships in your own lives with other humans. The way you trust and get close is by spending time and choosing to trust. The way you invest meaningfully in your relationship with your spouse is by taking time to simply talk and listen to each other. Perhaps part of discovering the wonder of Christmas this year is taking quiet moments, making quiet moments, to spend time talking through your hearts habits and hangups with God. Take time to talk about how you struggle to trust him. And choose to believe that he wants to be near to you and show his love to you.
Remember when you were Warren down by concerns anxieties and worries about the future know that you can rely on God. God was the one who moved first towards humanity to show his love to us.


1 Peter 5:6–7 ESV
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Perhaps you can relate to the apostle Peter. He let Jesus down multiple times. Peter knew anxiety and regret.
Remember Peter was the one who denied Jesus three times on the night before Jesus was crucified! Peter said he would die for Jesus and yet he hid his face at the first sign of a threat to himself.
Peter lived with this regret but then after Jesus was resurrected Jesus showed up on the shore of Galilee after a long night of fishing and Jesus restored the relationship between them. Jesus restored the trust and gave Peter a mission for the future and Peter spent the rest of his life telling others what Jesus had done.
So if Peter writes that we should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that he may exalt us we should pay attention.


So whether you are a 1st century teenager trying to understand how you were chosen by God to be the mother of the Messiah or you are a 21st century person trying to figure out your relationship with God know that God loves you this Christmas period God isn't afraid of the questions you have period God isn't afraid of the anxieties you face about your future. He has plans for your life. He wants you to call on him he wants you to draw near to him to know him.
The love of God isn't like the feeling we get from scrolling social media that's there for an instant and gone quickly. The love of God isn't like the feelings we get from nearly anything else in life sex power money etcetera God's love is enduring and life giving.
the same God who moved towards us in the first Christmas is with us today. He desires to be close to each and every one of you through his Holy Spirit. The God will be served is Emmanuel God with us. But he is also the God who is for us.
Romans 8:31 ESV
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
So as you celebrate Christmas this year and you hear far too many Christmas songs know that God is for you. As you face looming problems in the future and things that scare you awake at night know that God is for you. He wants you to draw near to him. He deeply loves you. He is for you.
What would it look like for you to open your heart to God in a new way this Christmas? What have you made time even to day to pour out your heart to God and talk to him and take a walk with God maybe not inside but pace your on your house talking about the things on your heart. The questions you have the words you have about the future. What if you carved out a little bit more time to spend time just sitting and having time with God in the morning. What would it look like to carve out quietness in the middle of Christmas craziness to remind yourself that the God that created everything wants to be near to you. The God who creates everything wants to talk and walk with you. It's a bit of a risk. You have to trust that God will be there and you're not just talking to thin air.
Take a chance this Christmas make time for God write out your prayers to him say your prayers to him know that God loves you!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more