The Wonder of Christmas!

My wife and “editor-in-chief” has been correcting me for years! And I’m not just thinking about her weekly and helpful comments regarding this blog! She loves to correct me when I misspeak or sing the wrong word in a Christmas carol as seems to occur every holiday season. I could argue that for some reason I have always found the phrase, “I wonder as I wander” in the beautiful carol, The Wonder of Christmas by John Niles, to be somewhat of a “tongue-twister” for me! You would think two similar sounding words like these should be an allowable nuance when singing, but Monique can detect the slightest of caroling infractions in only a moment. She will lean toward me and sarcastically question, “So you wander as you wonder?” I try not to act upset, but I am! 😉

"Star of Wonder" 

I do love the wonder of this season and I like singing about it too! Do you realize how often the word, wonder or a form of the word, comes up in carols and conversations during Christmastime? Joy to the World has the familiar chorus, “And wonders of His love.” “Oh, Star of Wonder, Star of Night” is in the chorus of We Three Kings. There’s a Song in the Air affirms this phrase in the 2nd stanza, “There’s a tumult of joy o’er the wonderful birth.” It is noted in the 2nd stanza of Gentle Mary Laid Her Child, that “Shepherds saw the wondrous sight.” And even in the ebullient, Here We Come a Wassailing, the lyrics state, “Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green. Here we come a wand’ring so fair to be seen.” I had a beloved mentor from Tennessee, who has now passed. Bro. Hadley often exclaimed, “Wonderful!” As I replay his voice, I'm wondering, did he say, “Waannnderful?!” How can a person keep all of this straight?

Dr. James Merritt is a Georgia preacher I like to follow on television early on Sunday mornings while eating breakfast and before church. He made this statement with emphasis recently in one of his Christmas messages, “If there is no wonder there can’t be any worship.” I have been giving this a lot of thought. There is a connection between our worship and our reverence and esteem of Christ. Following the Star, the Magi came to the place where the Christ Child was living with his parents. As they carried their treasures of gold, incense and myrrh to present to Him, the Scriptures simply say, “They bowed down and worshipped Him.” (Matthew 2:11).

At this season, let’s humble ourselves and worship as this traditional carol enjoins, “I wonder as I wander out under the sky, how Jesus the Savior did come for to die. For poor on’ry people like you and like I… I wonder as I wander out under the sky.”

If we can delight in the presence of someone famous or special, how much more should the presence of Christ, our Savior, evoke genuine wonder and heart-felt worship in our lives?

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 





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