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Wonders of His Love


Last Sunday I sat in the barn that my little church calls home during the winter. It was cold in there, people wearing coats and scarves, wrapping up in the black and white plaid blankets provided. The steam was rising out of the paper cups of cocoa in every hand. I could even see my breath as we sang out Christmas carols together.


“Joy to the World,” one of my favorites! On this chilly morning, my mind was drawn to these repeated lines:


“And wonders of His love, and wonders of His Love,

and wonders, wonders of His love.”


What are “wonders”?


I’ve heard of a “Boy Wonder,” “The Seven Wonders” and of Wonder Bread, none of which, I am sure, we are talking about here.


But really, what is this “wonder”?


Ummmm, Mr. Webster, may I have a definition, please?

Wonder: \ˈwən-​der\ (noun)

A cause of astonishment or admiration; something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, or amazing.


These words suggest to me that Christ’s love causes wonder.


Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?


“Joy to the World” was written in the 1719 by a pastor/hymnwriter by the name of Isaac Watts. These stanzas were based on his theological interpretation of a few Bible verses (Psalm 98, 96:11-12 and Genesis 3:17-18). Mostly, they rejoice in the miracle of Jesus’ coming to earth and how it changed everything!


It seems Mr. Isaac Watts felt the same wonder that I did when he considered the wonder that we call Christmas.


Here’s a Christmas image we might use to make this idea come alive: Imagine the sweet face of a little girl opening a present on Christmas morning. Her little pig-tails bob around her tiny face. As the paper is torn away, out comes a chubby little puppy! The child’s eyes grow huge, an electric joy spreads over her whole face and then sweeps through her body! She pulls the warm, wiggling wonder into her arms and into her heart. In that moment, the wonders of this gift explode in her and there is joy complete!


Have you ever felt that kind of wonder and joy? To find the wonder and joy in what God gave on that first Christmas can let loose that joy and wonder in us! As I sang on that chilly morning in our little church barn, my joy and understanding began to grow.


To think it all began with a Babe in a manger over 2,000 years ago! Through that tiny Baby Jesus, God reached down and offered mankind astounding grace, love and a way back into community with Him. And the world would never be the same. I would never be the same!


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (ESV)


Every hurt I have caused, every lie I have told, every wrong that has separated me from God’s goodness can be washed away. Gone. Forever.


“The Lord is compassionate and merciful,

slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love…

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

Psalm 103:8,12 (NLT)


This leads me to ask a deeper question: Why? WHY would God do this wonder for us?


It’s not as if God owes humans anything. He made us, surely. He loves us, truly. But He certainly does not owe us for anything, so it’s definitely not some kind of payback or a self-won merit award.


Even when I am at my best -- serving others, giving generously, sharing my time and energy to help someone else -- it is usually based on the “me” in me, not the God in me.


In Genesis, God shaped mankind in His own image, putting His own fingerprints on each of us. And even though there is given goodness in us and we are very capable of shining with His likeness, we as a species still fall short in honoring this image.

I see it in myself; there are so many parts of me that are very un-Godly. I can be small, selfish and greedy. I have turned away from people I could have helped. I can speak with a wicked tongue and withhold grace and compassion, even to those I say I love.


I’m guessing that you have some of these parts in you, too, that you see some stains you wish you could erase.


So I ask again, why would an almighty, all-knowing God become a frail baby human, live like us, die like us, and conquer death for us, all to restore the goodness we had lost at our own hand?


Love.


Because God is love, He can’t do it any other way! And He loves you and me. It’s that simple.


Seems impossible, doesn’t it? Astonishing even? Dare I say…A “wonder”?


Wonder: \ˈwən-​der\ (noun)

A cause of astonishment or admiration; something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, or amazing.


If you’ll allow me to quote one more song, these lines sing with wonder in a beautiful and powerful way:


“I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it

Still You give Yourself away Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”

(”Reckless Love of God,” by Corey Ashbury)


Now, my dear friends, may “the Wonders of His love” sing out to you this Christmas. The gift is personal and intimate now. No ribbons or wrappings. Just a gift from a God that loves you with a whole lot of wonder.


Go ahead. Open it up! Your joy awaits.


Merry Christmas and a Happy Shalom,


Namra

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