The Wide-Eyed Wonder of Christmas
I recently read an anonymous poem that began:
“Christmas is for children –
at least that’s what they say,
It’s a time of wide-eyed wonder,
a magic holiday.”
Watching children get increasingly excited as December gathers pace has got me thinking about what they can teach us about encountering the King this Christmastime.
Matthew 18 tells the story of how the disciples are debating who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus calls over a little child and has him stand amongst them. He says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)
The disciples misunderstand greatness in terms of human endeavor, accomplishment and qualification. They seem to think these things will bring the status of greatness in the kingdom. But Jesus doesn’t think so.
Jesus has always been unconventional. He chose a stable over a palace, a manger over a cot, and the weak over the powerful.
And this Jesus, who was willing to humble Himself and come to earth to be born as a baby, uses children as a picture to us of how we receive the Kingdom of God. In humility, in eagerness; unable to enter through our own efforts.
The King of heaven welcomes us, not because of what we do, but because we have been given the highest status imaginable – we are His children! And like an earthly child, we are unable to advance our own cause apart from the help, direction and resources of our parent.
This is the starting point for us in Jubilee Kids. We seek to prioritise God’s presence over a programme in our kidswork. To provide opportunities for children to encounter God and give space to share stories about what He is doing in our lives as family together. Sunday mornings are not for history lessons; they are a space to get to know the King.
God is building up an adventurous generation of children who are stepping up in faith. There is much we can learn from their straightforward trust in Father God and His promises.
The story of Christmas is the story of God’s pursuit of us. The story of the God of heaven meeting us right in the middle of the chaos, the brokenness, the mess.
So this Christmastime, as we hear the old familiar truth of God becoming a baby, let’s allow the wide-eyed wonder of the children around us to raise our expectations, as we make time to encounter the King.
“For to us a child is born…of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
We invite you to join us at our Christmas Service.