EVERY YEAR AT CHRISTMASTIME, WE FIGHT THE WAR OF PREPACKAGED WONDER.
Skepticism — the thief of wonder…
As a child I remember looking up at the night sky and being filled with endless wonder. How many stars are out there? How big are they? Is there anything beyond? I would watch Star Trek on TV and my imagination would run wild. It was a curiosity that was deeply rooted in my soul. I would get to the end of a movie or TV series and have a bigilloin questions about what was left unsaid. I’d go through a myriad of what-if-scenarios in my mind. All that to say — I was genuinely curious. Fast forward to today and as an adult my curiosity has waned. Imagination has run thin and even when it rears it’s head I am inundated with facts, statistics, and information. Just ask Siri, she will tell you exactly how many stars are out there. In an age of information it seems that curiosity has been replaced with skepticism. The conversation has moved from “what could be?” and drifted towards “is that really true?” The curiosity that seems to accompany every child at some point gets sucked away by adulthood. The mystery is gone and wonder ceases.
“A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for mystery.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus was acutely aware of this phenomenon. He actually told His followers in Mathew 18v2 “Truly, I say to you, unless you “turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The problem with knowing all the answers is that there is no room to hear and it becomes a veil to seeing something new - no room for mystery and no room for a curiosity that drives you to seek. Jesus wasn’t telling His followers to “act” like children but rather to shed the skepticism that prevented them from a type of curiosity that caused them to marvel at GOD. This is what I love about the Christmas story… It forces you to imagine a world where people care about people, were there is generosity, and family. A world that GOD has broken into in order that it might be freed from despair and once again filled with hope. You go to bed on Christmas morning in great anticipation wondering what the next day will hold. But you wake up to the magic of presents and the story of presence. Everything is just better Christmas morning; the hustle and bustle of your children’s feet, the coffee pot brewing, even wiping the sleep out of your eye is a beautiful expression of new sight. It is a foretaste of that glorious day when we will all be awoken to the endless treasure of Christ’s perfect kingdom.
Although the mystery of God’s plan of redemption has been revealed in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection — it definitely has not explained everything. We worship an infinite GOD. His love and grace, justice and holiness are a bottomless ocean of infinite discovery. We can never get bored with GOD because there will always be some new mystery of His character to be explored. When curiosity is replaced by skepticism wonder ceases and nothing is possible.
Knowing GOD can’t be pre-packaged… You can’t just Google GOD.