Each year as we grow up from children, to adolescents, to adults, the Christmas magic somehow fades a little more doesn’t it? The hard grip of our grown-up reality gradually overtakes our sense of innocent, childhood wonder.
But awe isn’t something we should outgrow, it’s something we should deepen.
Dr. Jarrett Stephens recently shared that piece of wisdom during Sunday service at Prestonwood, and it stuck with me. As we grow older, we shouldn’t grow out of our awe of Christ – we should grow deeper in it.
My home church, Prestonwood, produces an extravagant Christmas production each year called The Gift of Christmas, and that was always my favorite part of Christmas as a little girl! I remember staring up in awestruck, wide-eyed wonder at the flying angels suspended in the air, delivering the good news to the shepherds and flock of live sheep down below.
The last few years, I was blessed with the honor of actually flying as one of the angels! (That’s me as a blonde on the right 😂) People always ask if I’m scared flying 100 feet in the air over thousands of people, and I just say – if anything were to happen, what a way to go! 😉 We’re already dressed for heaven!
It’s so surreal… the first year I flew, I truly felt like I flying over a field in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago! Delivering a glorious message of the Savior’s birth that would bring hope, peace, and goodwill to all.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
My first two years of flying, I had the sweetest operator named Jerry who I called “the real angel!” He would meet me at one of the entrances when the sanctuary was pitch black and ensure that my harness was safely hooked and unhooked. We had little signals in the dark to make sure everything was good and after 14 performances, we had it down like clock-work! And he also helped make sure I didn’t trip on my costume and fall on my face walking up and down the stairs in the dark!
One night after the angels finished our “flight path,” I gave Jerry the signal I was good to go, and carefully gathered up the yards of delicate, embellished fabric of my costume to discreetly tiptoe back up the stairs. I had to walk past about fifteen rows of people sitting near the aisle and always wanted to be careful to not distract them from the beautiful nativity scene unfolding on stage.
But on this particular night, as I was quietly walking up the stairs, a little boy suddenly sprung out of his chair with his tiny arms stretched out, grabbed my legs and all the layers of chiffon, crystals and satin, and squeezed me in a great big hug.
He caught me off guard and threw me off balance a bit! I looked over at his parents and they even gasped not knowing he was going to do that!
In the dark, I’m sure I looked like a shadowy dementor from Hogwarts with all those robes and heavy golden-bronze makeup. I was also a complete stranger! And yet, this little boy was so captivated by the wonder and awe of the angels, that he couldn’t contain his desire to run up to one of them in the dark and grab her by the legs in a great big, pint-sized hug.
I kneeled down to give him a proper hug and asked him his name. I whispered that Jesus loves him and wished him a merry Christmas before gently leading him back to his parents.
What if we had that same child-like faith and wonder?
Walking back to the angel dressing room, I thought of how much Jesus desires that we run to Him like that. Overflowing with such wonder and awe, and bursting with love that we cannot contain ourselves from seeking Him with our whole hearts.
So how can we do the same? This is what I’ve experienced:
Our awe of God is in direct proportion to our intimacy with Him.
The angels and heavenly hosts have been praising God since the beginning of time, and will continue through all eternity – because they are in such close proximity to the presence of God. They will not tire or grow weary of praising Him!
Likewise, when we position ourselves to receive His Word, hear His voice, and dwell in complete intimacy with Him – we will overflow with such awe and wonder of who He is – that we will have no choice but to pour out our praises to the King of Kings.
Then… I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,Revelation 5:11-12 (ESV)
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
This Christmas, may we draw close to Christ than ever before, may we pursue holiness, pursue deeper intimacy, and let our love of Him overflow into every facet of our lives!
Wishing you and your families a very blessed Christmas filled with His love and hope!