“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
The children’s book Wonder by J.R. Palacios, now a hit movie, has captured my attention for a while. Puns are intended when both are described as wonderful. But wonder has been around for a long time.
In this Advent season that nudges us to be still and wait, consider, remember, give thanks for the anticipation of the Messiah, we do wonder. It is a season when candles, lights, songs, smells and even the unexpected bring heightened moments of joy and reminders of pain.
The world that Jesus was born into was full of wonder in all its various definitions.
- what new Roman law would come down.
- what new tax bill?
- what new conquest would the Roman Empire claim?
- what would King Herod build next?
- who was safe from his insecurities and cruel dictates when his own family members were done away with?
- when will the Messiah come?
- what His kingdom would be like?
- Why was Yahweh taking so long to send rescue?
Then there were those people of another wonder like:
- Zechariah and Elizabeth, faithful, God worshipping senior adults who wondered why they were chosen to have a son.
- Young and pure Mary who knew the history of her people and could break into a song of praise at the conception of her Son, the Redeemer.
- Joseph, full of integrity and kindness, who wondered but walked with courage, protecting and partnering with Mary
- Shepherds not considered trustworthy in a courtroom but the first to give witness to the news and the sight of the newborn King.
- Simeon whose wonder full faith welcomed the Baby Jesus to the Temple.
- Moments later, Anna, the prophetess, gave proclamation of the Redeemer to all around.
Even with our centuries of difference, our world is still the same. We wonder about government, laws and taxes, people who are powerful and mean, the underserved, the poor, the refugees. Like ancient Jews we have families to care for, pain to process and work that can be overwhelming.
In this season, pause and consider how you will join the faithful in believing in the Wonder of God. This is our moment to proclaim that in our waiting and wondering, we have found Emmanuel is with us….Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.