Posts Tagged ‘#onthelookoutforwonder’


This coming weekend, many Christian churches will begin to celebrate the season of Advent. It is a season on the Christian calendar which is intended for preparation of the coming celebration of birth of Jesus. Advent, as a word (in the Latin) means ‘coming’ and it is the coming of the Son of God, in human form, that we celebrate.

As with each year, the beginning of Advent follows two other days, familiar to North Americans, American Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Thursday, November 24, Thanksgiving is celebrated by the Americans.
According to Wikipedia, American Thanksgiving “became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” I believe, though, that it began, unofficially, with a feasting of the pilgrims and native Americans, after the safe arrival in the new land.

Friday, November 25, Black Friday is celebrated by North American shoppers.
Black Friday was a name given to the day following Thanksgiving, in Philadelphia, because of the increased traffic of that day. It has also been associated with the belief that many retailers do not go ‘into the black’ (financially) until that day … personally I refer to it as Black-eye Friday … just sayin’.

Then there is Sunday, December 27, when the celebration of Advent is begun by Christian churches.
The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.

All of these celebrations are greatly subscribed to, all are annual events, and none of them have to be negative.

The celebration, known as Thanksgiving, is one filled with food, family and thanks. Though we live best, live healthiest, if we live with thanksgiving in our hearts every day of the year. To be truly thankful is to give thanks to God, even when our outward circumstances do not make us feel thankful.

John 1:1-4 tells us what we can always be thankful for:

“At the beginning of time the Word already was; and God had the Word abiding with him, and the Word was God. He abode, at the beginning of time, with God. It was through him that all things came into being, and without him came nothing that has come to be. In him there was life, and that life was the light of men.

Then there is Black Friday, the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. Somehow, though, this tradition has gotten dark … very dark. Each year there are stories of violence and aggression in the shopping malls. Greed and selfish ambition seem to extinguish the light that we receive through giving thanks.

And, once again, John (1:5) seems to remind us of the light to come:

“And the light shines in darkness, a darkness which was not able to master it”

Finally we have Sunday … Advent. It is anticipation personified … literally! It begins this coming Sunday, and includes each of the four weeks prior to Christmas Day. This is the season of remembering the waiting that the Jews have done prior to (and since) the birth of the Christ the Messiah.

And, back to John (1:6-9):

“A man appeared, sent from God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, so that through him all men might learn to believe. He was not the Light; he was sent to bear witness to the light. There is one who enlightens every soul born into the world; he was the true Light. 

Jesus is that light, that John (the Baptist) was sent to witness. It is Jesus who gives us reason to be thankful. In our giving of gifts, we should be reminded that the gift of God, himself, was given for the world.

We wait, always on the lookout, for the presence of wonder.

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“You could write about something cheery, for a change.”
(insert sword to the gut)

Those were the words of my daughter last weekend, as I was writing a blog post. I thought I had, but maybe the effects of monsoon season in the Pacific Northwest had gotten to me, and I have been seeing the cup half empty far too frequently. So, here goes, sunshine and lollipops are on there way!

As soon as our conversation finished the word ‘wonder’ surfaced in my mind.

Maybe it is a matter of getting back to the things that are foundational, the things that are imperative in my life. Things that make me wonder make my heart skip a beat, put a smile on my face, and breath fresh air into my lungs (and soul). To  be in a state of wonder is to be reminded that someone else holds the reigns of my life, and that He delights in the way small things can bring me joy, can remind me of His omniscience.

Things like:

  • a sunrise or sunset, bursting with color
  • a spider web covered in morning dew
  • spring bulb plants, poking through the soil
  • a shared joke, complete with full belly laughter
  • standing at a sandy waters edge as the tide pushes forward
  • an elderly couple holding hands
  • putting my arm around my beast, and feeling her lean in
  • the sight of an eagle soaring in sky
  • the sound of coyotes at night
  • a spontaneous hug from any of my kids
  • the scent of my mom
  • snow falling

There are many more things to wonder at! These are the things one cannot buy, the things that one cannot make happen easily. These things, experiences that make us wonder, remind us that we know so little, that our world is so vast.

Ray Bradbury said,

“Stuff your eyes with wonder,
live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds.”

The blessing of wonder, is the blessing resulting from curiosity, and from the ability to look for beauty and delight in the world around us.


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