Lisa Campbell is aiming to put her Christian faith at the heart of the festivities and you can too
We have a rule in our house that there is to be no Christmas music before 1st December. As a family, we love music and we LOVE Christmas and I suspect that, without that restriction in place, Carol of the Bells, Michael Bublé or Rend Collective’s Campfire Christmas album would be filling every room from September!!!
In one of my favourite songs, Andy Williams sings that ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ but, as we press into all that the Christmas season brings, how can we create space for a Wonder-Full time this Christmas?
The Christmas story is jam packed full of Wonder like an over stuffed Christmas stocking that is over-flowing with goodies!
In Luke’s gospel the story begins with 2 people who are wondering … How?
We start with Zechariah hearing the incredible news from an angel that, in their old age, he and his wife Elizabeth will have a son, John, who will ‘bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God’ How can I be sure of this? he wonders…
In the next chapter we read of another angel encounter as Mary is told that she will give birth to a baby – Jesus. How can this be? she wonders …
Mary’s trust in God is incredible and her wondering ‘how?’ very quickly turns to a ‘wow’ of wonder as she sings her beautiful song of praise that is echoed by the angels as they announce the ‘Wow of Wonder’ news to the shepherds.
And as the shepherds notice the Wow Wonder of God, it leads them to bow in Wonder as they kneel and worship a little baby, lying in a stable.
A How?, a Wow! and a Bow – three types of wonder all bursting out of one of the most incredible stories ever told.
Here are some top tips to help you wonder as a family this Christmas and make space for a Wonder-full time!
Family Time – Wonder
Wonder – How?
Socrates once said that ‘Wonder is the beginning of wisdom’. That seems to certainly be true for the wise men in the Christmas story - their curiosity led them to Jesus as they wondered about the new star they noticed.
The Christmas story is probably one of the most well-told, well-heard and well-known stories of all time - it can be easy to feel like we know it and have heard it all before!
Spend some time bringing a little curiosity to the Christmas story this year as a family– why not grab a big piece of paper and write down as many questions as you can think of in 5 minutes as you wonder about the story? Then have a chat about what some of the answers might be.
I wonder what the angel looked like that spoke to Mary?
Wonder – Wow!
Considering I have read the story of the birth of Jesus so many times and heard it told at carol services and Christmas services for so many years, I am still amazed that every year I seem to read or hear something that I haven’t noticed before – such is the Wonder of the Word of God!
Read Luke 2:1-21 together (or read the Christmas story in a children’s bible).
How many Wow! moments can you find? Make a Wonder Wall by writing each Wow! moment that you notice on a star - Thread each star onto a large piece of ribbon and make a bunting style Christmas decoration to remind you of the Wonder of Jesus this Christmas.
Bow in Wonder
In Luke chapter 1 there are 2 incredible songs of praise as both Mary and Zechariah notice the Wow! Wonder of God, which leads them sing for joy and bow in worship and wonder.
Where has God been at work in your life this past year?
A few years ago, we spent New Year with some really good friends of ours who introduced us to a New Years Eve tradition that we have been doing ever since – all you need is 2 large pieces of poster paper and some marker pens!
In the middle of the first piece of paper write ‘2023 – we are thankful for …’
Spend a few minutes thinking of all the things you are thankful for that have happened over the past year – we put some music on, sit around the paper on the floor and each take a corner each for some personal reflection time as we draw or write the things that come to mind.
After a few minutes share with each other what you have jotted down and take some time to say some simple thank you prayers together.
Next, on the second piece of paper, write ‘Prayers and hopes for 2024’.
Again, take a few minutes to each write or draw the things that you would like to pray for as you look ahead to the year to come.
After a few moments, share with each other what you have written before spending some time in prayer asking God to step into this next year with you, remembering that He goes before you and walks with you.
Keep your papers throughout the year, tucked away in a safe place. Next New Years Eve, remind yourselves of what you prayed for as you reflect on where God has been at work in your life that year.
A How?, A Wow! and a Bow … have a Wonder-full Christmas!