We walk into brightly decorated stores that are filled with people looking for the euphoria that comes when they get caught up in the spirit of Christmas giving. The carols play softly in the background and the sales—oh me, oh my, our shopping cart is filled to the sky. For a little bit, we smile and imagine how pleased the people on our list will be when they open their presents. Then exhausted, we go home and collapse, wondering where our Christmas spirit went.
Next, we start decorating our houses inside and out, thinking that will surely put us in the spirit of Christmas. Then we might start baking cookies and candies. After all, in Clement Clarke Moore’s The night before Christmas, “vision of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” We have to have those special treats at Christmas don’t we.
And yet there is emptiness, a hollow place in our hearts that just refuses to be filled. We may think, Oh, if we only had more money, maybe that’s what we need. We just need to make Christmas bigger and better. If-f-f we could only touch the wonder of Christmas.
We grab the Bible. We sit down and start reading in the book of Luke 2:1-20. For a moment, we are there—in the stable with Mary and Joseph and the baby. We see the STAR. We can picture the shepherds and if we grew up on a farm, we can even smell the hay, the odors of the animals. We sense the sacredness of the moment.
Ah, maybe the wonder of Christmas can be found within the pages of God’s WORD. Is the Bible still relevant? Maybe it is. We start leafing frantically through its pages searching for the hidden wonder and our eyes fall on “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 NIV and “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27. We keep turning the pages and we learn much more: Things like treat people the way we want to be treated, do everything for God’s glory, and feed the hungry, visit the sick and those in prison, and on and on.
All of a sudden we raise our eyes and look around us. We see raw need and we want to help. Bless those bell ringers in front of the stores; bless Samaritan Purse for filling those shoeboxes. Bless the Cheer Fund for the collecting, sorting, and delivering of gifts. Do they need our help? Yep, they do, as well as so many other charities and individuals. We look at the people in our town. Bet they can use some help.
We roll up our sleeves; let us start giving of ourselves. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus. All at once, that hollow place in our hearts is filled. We’ve just touched the Wonder of Christmas!