Renew Your Wonder of Christmas
By Paul David Tripp
It is a mind-boggling, hard-to-grasp, awesome story unlike any other story ever told. But what makes this story so wonderful and so important is not that its plot is way beyond anything you would’ve ever conceived. What makes this story vital to know and understand is that it is not a well-crafted fantasy. The thing that should make you stop in your tracks, activate your heart and mind, and fall to your knees is that this story is real. It took place in real time at real locations with real people. All human history was marching to the specific point in time when this story would unfold, and the implications of the events of this story reach to everyone who has lived since. The Christmas story is the story of stories.
I’ve thought a lot about the danger of familiarity in our lives as the children of God. It is good to be familiar with the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It means that God has met you by grace. It means that he has opened the eyes of your heart to what, without him, you would not see or understand. He has drawn you close to his side. He has pulled back the curtain and shown you the deep mysteries of his redeeming plan. He has blessed you with the presence of his Spirit, who continues to illumine his truth for you. You are familiar with the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ because the love of God has been lavished on you.
But familiarity often does bad things to us. Often when we become familiar with things, we begin to take them for granted. When we are familiar with things, we tend to quit examining them. Often when we are familiar with things, we quit noticing them. When we are familiar with things, we tend not to celebrate them as we once did. Familiarity tends to rob us of our wonder. And here’s what’s important about this: what has captured the wonder of our hearts will control the way we live.
Sadly, many of us aren’t gripped by the stunningly magnificent events and truths of the birth of Jesus anymore. Sadly, many of us are no longer gripped by wonder as we consider what this story tells us about the character and plan of God. Sadly, many of us are no longer humbled by what the incarnation of Jesus tells us about ourselves. We walk by the garden of the incarnation, but we don’t see the roses of grace anymore. Our eyes have gone lazy and our hearts have grown cold.
In a culture that uses this season to get children to dream about how their lives would be made better by possessing a certain material thing, where Christmas has been reduced to a shopper’s nightmare and a retailer’s dream, it is vital to draw the wonder of our children away from the next great toy and toward the wonder of the coming of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus.
May the glory of the best gift ever recapture our hearts so that we really do come to adore him and so that we will all live with a renewed appreciation for the grace that we have found in him.
May your Christmas be rich in spiritual blessings!
The above article is excerpted from Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional (Crossway, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Paul David Tripp (@PaulTripp). Used by permission of Crossway. www.crossway.org. Pages 9-13. All rights reserved.
Bio: Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, and New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org.
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January 21, 2019
January 21, 2019