Episode #115 Experience More Wonder This Christmas? – Awe in Advent

4 Minutes Read

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From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our Awe in Advent Series and today's topic is Experience More Wonder This Christmas.


Luke 2:16-20; Luke 2:51b

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God, I would love to grow in wonder and awe of you this Christmas. Is that something that you offer me?

Here's the episode transcript

Hey friends, it's Jen. Do you want to experience more wonder and awe of God this Christmas season? I think most of us would say yes, but that need is often buried behind and between other things that are more pressing in our schedules.

Things like planning, holiday gatherings and buying presents for our children, and figuring out winter clothes and preparing for the year ahead.

I've also noticed that children find the holiday season wondrous, magical, awe inspiring, incredible. It's easy to look at the holiday season, to look at the Christmas story, and to see the wonder and awe in it from the vantage point of a child.

But as adults, and especially as we get familiar with the Christmas story or have other things that require our attention, we can lose sight of some of that wonder. And so the focus of this podcast series is to bring back that wonder that we can have at the Christmas story by taking a look at some of the Messianic prophecies that came about Christ before he was born.

With each episode we'll dive into one aspect of prophecy—foretelling from God to his people of who the Messiah is, how they will know him, and what the circumstances in his coming would be like.

As I was thinking about this podcast episode, I started reflecting on some of my favorite Christmas songs. And ever since I was a little girl, I loved the song, Mary, Did You Know. I loved the idea of Mary holding baby Jesus. And marveling at the future and the divine call and purpose that God had on his life. And the song asks, Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day heal the nations? That the blind would see and the deaf would hear?

Today, I still treasure that song. And as I look back on it, I can say, yeah. Mary kind of did know. Mary had some inkling of who Jesus was and of what his ministry to the world was going to be because she was told in advance. Not only was Mary told personally, the Israelite people were told many times by prophetic voices, of the promise of the coming Messiah.

But even with her foreknowledge, even with the message that came, even with her experiencing holding baby Jesus and watching him grow, there were still things that she got to ponder and treasure because she only had limited awareness, she only had some understanding.

We're going to look at two examples of that today in the Gospel of Luke, chapter two. So, the first example is after Jesus is born, the angels go and visit the shepherds in the field announcing the birth of the Messiah and they, and the shepherds come to find him. And so in verse 16, it says,

“And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:16-20)

Everyone who heard the story of what the shepherds had experienced, and of this baby born in a manger, wondered at it. Mary treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.

The word ponder there indicates that she didn't fully understand, she thought about it, she sat with it, she meditated on it, she treasured these words, and we see her doing something similar a few years later.

Jesus was 12 years old, and his parents thought he was with their caravan. They went to visit the temple and left, and Jesus stayed at the temple. Jesus is amazing everyone with his understanding and his answers as he's discussing scripture in the temple. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished and his mother “treasured up all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51b)

As followers of Jesus, we also get to treasure these things in our heart. We also get to ponder, to think on, to wonder at the messages that we've received, the life that we've been given, and experience the reality of Jesus being born on earth in a fresh and wondrous way.

I end every episode here with a question for us to go and ask God. And I don't typically give us yes or no questions, because we want to engage in this back-and-forth conversation with Him. But sometimes, hearing God's clear confirmation is helpful. And so our question today is yes or no. But I encourage you, ask him follow up questions and go with him wherever the conversation leads. So here's our question:

God, I would love to grow in wonder and awe of you this Christmas. Is that something that you offer me?

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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